French scientist Luc Montagnier Nobel Prize winner for medicine dies of HIV

French scientist Luc Montagnier Nobel Prize winner for medicine  dies of HIV

The discoverer of the AIDS virus, the Nobel Prize-winning French scientist Luc Montagnier, has died at the age of 89, Jean-Christophe Fromantin, the mayor of the region near Paris, told AFP on Thursday.

Montagnier won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery in 1983, with his partners Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Jean-Claude Sherman, of the human immunodeficiency virus "HIV" that causes AIDS.

But the French virologist has repeatedly raised controversy due to various theories he has launched in recent years, causing him to be criticized by his peers in the scientific community.

After repeated statements since 2017, against vaccines, his name has returned to circulation in the last two years after he released hypotheses about the Corona virus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, which the scientific community denied, including what he claimed that the virus was developed in the laboratory and that vaccines are responsible for the emergence of mutants.

His statements about vaccines won admiration among the anti-vaccination circles against the Corona virus.

In the eighties of the twentieth century, a handful of laboratories around the world were preoccupied with discovering the source of a mysterious health problem called 4H disease, in relation to the fact that it specifically affected four groups whose English names begin with the letter H, they are homosexuals, heroin addicts, Haitians and people with hemophilia "hereditary bleeding".

 Montagnier, born on August 8, 1932, in the Indre region, central France, had been leading since 1972 a laboratory specializing in retroviruses and those responsible for cancerous diseases at the Pasteur Institute.

In 1983, Montagnier, along with his partners Barré-Senoussi and Sherman, succeeded in isolating a new retrovirus, which he provisionally called LAV  "Lymphadenopathy Associated Virus" , based on a sample drawn by Willie Rosenbaum from a young gay patient who had resided for a time in New York.

The discovery was met with skepticism, especially from the famous American researcher Robert Gallo, who specializes in retroviruses.

 For a year, we knew we had succeeded in identifying the virus but no one believed us and our publications were rejected,  Montagnier said three decades after the discovery.

In April 1984, US Secretary of Health Margaret Heckler said that Robert Gallo had found the "probable" cause of AIDS, a retrovirus named HTLV-III. But this virus turned out to be completely identical to the LAV retrovirus discovered by Montagnier's team a year ago.

 There has been a great deal of controversy over the identification of the true discoverer of HIV, an issue of great importance in determining who is entitled to receive the proceeds of HIV testing.

The dispute ended with a temporary diplomatic solution in 1987, with the United States and France signing a settlement in which Gallo and Montagnier were formally described as  partners of discover 

The actual conclusion, however, came two decades later, with the Nobel Prize for Medicine awarded not to Gallo but to Montagnier and barré-sinoussi

The discovery of a new mutant of the  AIDS virus, acquired immunodeficiency virus, is  more deadly  2022


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