The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci in a letter Thursday for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases continuing to use monkeys in HIV and AIDS vaccination experiments.
The letter states that NIAID has been experimenting on macaques for 40 years trying to develop a vaccine for HIV and AIDS.
"The macaque model for developing a vaccine for human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) has failed. After nearly 40 years of painful, deadly, expensive experiments—a vaccine is still not on the market," the letter states.
The letter also claims that HIV is human-specific, and macaques' have properties that prevent HIV replication in their tissues, and therefore cannot develop AIDS.
The letter came in response to Dr. Anthony Fauci’s World AIDS Day statement, where he said that "finding a safe, effective and durable HIV vaccine remains an NIH priority."
Lisa Jones-Engel, a senior science advisor for PETA, argued that the experiments on macaques have proven to be an "unqualified failure."
PETA cited an instance where Fauci admitted that a preclinical study for an HIV cure involving monkeys "might have been a fluke" after it did not help humans infected with the virus.
Jones-Engel also accused Fauci of ignoring the "presence of unintended infections" that occur in the monkeys used in these experiments, referring to an investigation by the Arizona Republic which shows that the presence of Valley fever in monkeys could potentially compromise the reliability of HIV research.