Since I can't respond to the forum as myself, I'll do so here, just in case someone might be interested.
In fact, us "mainstream guys" addressed this point quite recently (I personally replied on Jan 5th of this year). There are several things wrong with the Perth Group's assertations regarding HIV, as you might expect by now. They say:
In January 1994, the CDC (25) communicated the following experimental data and conclusion: "In order to obtain data on the survival of HIV, laboratory studies have required the use of artificially high concentrations of laboratory grown virus...the amount of virus studied is not found in human specimens or anyplace else in nature,...it does not spread or maintain infectiousness outside its host. Although these unnatural concentrations of HIV can be kept alive under precisely controlled and limited laboratory conditions, CDC studies have shown that drying of even these high concentrations of HIV reduces the number of infectious viruses by 90 to 99 percent within several hours.
Since the HIV concentrations used in laboratory studies are much higher than those actually found in blood or other body specimens, drying of HIV-infected human blood or other body fluids reduces the theoretical risk of environmental transmission to that which has been observed-essentially zero".
Since: (a) in most instances, if not all, the time between phlebotomy and conversion of pooled plasma to factor VIII concentrate is considerably greater than 3 hours; (b) factor VIII is made from plasma which is cell free; (c ) the late 1970s factor VIII has been supplied as a dry powder which may spend weeks or months waiting use; how can one reconcile the above facts with the view that haemophiliacs are infected with HIV via contaminated factor VIII concentrates?
However, factor VIII is not made by simple drying. It's made by lyophilisation, which is a method of rapid freeze-drying that is specifically intended to preserve protein structure. One would almost expect lyophilisation to protect HIV against degradation!
In particular, there are experiments where HIV was introduced and recovered from lyophilised factor VIII . Heat treatment and filtration both protect against infectious HIV, and heat-treated factor VIII is now the standard and fairly clearly protective .
The other point is ridiculous when faced with the work of Pantaleo, Jackson and Ho which I keep citing [3, 4, 5]. There is plenty HIV to go around - thousands of infectious units per ml - it's just not enough to get a decent EM image using peripheral blood samples. Gelderblom remember said he needed maybe 10 billion virions per ml. The idea that HIV was hard to find is a long-standing myth based purely on the fact that the very early culture techniques were inefficient. Ho et al for instance were probably detecting individual infected cells in their assay.
1. McDougal et al. J Clin Invest. 1985 Aug;76(2):875-7. "Thermal
inactivation of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome virus, human T lymphotropic virus-III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus, with special reference to antihemophilic factor.
2. 8. Rouzioux, C., S. Chamaret, L. Montagnier, V. Carnelli, G.
Rolland, and P. M. Mannucci. 1985. Absence of antibodies to AIDS virus in haemophiliacs treated with heat-treated Factor VIII concentrate. Lancet. 1:271-272.
3. Pantaleo et al Nature. 1993 Mar 25;362(6418):355-8. "HIV infection is active and progressive in lymphoid tissue during the clinically latent stage of disease."
4. Ho et al NEJM 1989 321:pp 1621-1625 "Quantitation of human
immunodeficiency virus type 1 in the blood of infected persons"
5. Jackson et al J Clinical Mole Bio 1990 pp 16-19 "Human
immunodeficiency virus type 1 detected in all seropositive symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals"