CDC Heptavax RCT Placebo Rate Revealed after 40 years

The CDC and Merck claim it's coincidence that HIV infection went from 0% to 42% in trial participants, but have kept the 9% rate among the placebo group hidden


In 1983-84 the CDC and FDA notified Alpha Therapeutic, Sanofi, Bayer and Baxter that their injectable products contained HIV. They hid it so the companies could dump their inventory in poor countries while introducing a safe version for affluent markets. It resulted in a landmark settlement. For the first time it can be demonstrated that same year, the CDC discovered, in their clinical trial of Merck’s blood-derived Heptavax, that 42% of trial recipients contracted HIV vs 9% of unvaccinated placebo. See Placebo Section for the calculation.

The paper trail indicates that when Merck saw this they sold Heptavax to South Africa’s apartheid regime. An investigation needs to uncover what the regime knew and if Heptavax was administered only to blacks. The Bayer settlement was $100,000 per victim.

I am establishing a transparent, regulated, non-profit foundation to conduct a neutral, public investigation. Merck is invited to contribute to the research protocol and supervise the data collection. The foundation will publish only raw data without comment and fund the cost of protecting whistleblowers. Please consider supporting the foundation by sending an email to indicating how much you would donate. When the pledges are sufficient, I will email links to donate and verify the foundation status and that donations will be managed by independent auditors and used exclusively to fund the fact-finding mission.

Video script with sources

Dr. Wilson asserts that this CDC report1 settles the matter of Merck's blood-derived Heptavax being among the many injectables that contained infectious HIV in the 1980s. I agree.

Here is the CDC’s own data behind their report23. Everyone knows at the start of the CDC trial 0% of participants had HIV, at the end 42%. Here is Merck's explanation45:

And the perception was that HIV was sort of hanging over this vaccine like a cloud even though he had proven clearly that HIV couldn’t possibly survive the treatments that he had subjected that vaccine to.

In 1983, when doctors refused Heptavax over AIDS fears, officials confirmed 2 trial participants had contracted this yet-unidentified disease, and that both had received vaccine, not placebo6. But they said 2 cases out of 1000 didn’t justify hesitating to take the vaccine. Months later a test for the virus was available, revealing almost half the trial participants were infected.

But the rate among placebo recipients became a closely guarded secret. Identifying it took months of digging through physical archives, asking ChatGPT to dissect tens of thousands of pages of scientific papers, and following breadcrumbs to calculate it from clues. For the first time, we know the HIV infection rate among the CDC trial participants who received placebo was 9%. See: Placebo Section

Instead of revealing the placebo rate, the CDC compared trial participants against those excluded due to their prior STD’s. But even among that group labeled ‘higher risk’, the rate was 23% when the trial ended. The CDC compared the 1984 numbers after the higher risk group had caught up.

They falsely claimed to compare those excluded against “vaccine recipients”. They compared against all trial participants including placebo. Since the placebo rate was 9%, the rate among “vaccine recipients” must be higher.

Before diving into where Merck sold Heptavax after seeing these numbers, a quick recap of how it was made.

In the 1960s scientists harvested antigens by feeding infected feces to disabled children who they labeled “human in form but not in social potential”. When RFKs dad made it illegal, scientists confirmed chimpanzee and human blood were compatible by letting their blood cross-circulate through IV tubes7. Humans survived being filled with raw, unprocessed chimp blood. Around 100,000 primates were imported each year to test these viruses8. Here’s a list of some other viruses they were found to carry. At the time, nobody knew 20% of chimps carried a virus that was harmless to them but caused AIDS in humans.

The FDA, CDC, NIH and NIAID plus pharma infected chimps with human hepatitis to amass plasma pools with antigens used in numerous experimental vaccines9. Some used only heat to kill whatever unknown viruses lurked10. In 1978 the patent was issued for Heptavax made from the blood of chimpanzees1112. When Merck decided to test on New York’s gay community, 13,000 blood samples were collected. Upon retesting, not one had HIV13. After Merck’s experiments, New York had more HIV cases than all other cities combined in the US or Europe.14

When an HIV test became available health officials realized many blood-based injectables from various pharma companies were contaminated15. US health officials hid this from the public and Congress, letting companies dump contaminated inventory in poor countries while introducing safe versions in affluent markets. This led to a landmark settlement.

Dr. Offit’s claim that Merck was the one pharma company that abandoned its inventory is demonstrably false. The same year Merck’s competitors sold their HIV-contaminated products overseas, the Swazi in Kangwane, South Africa began their Heptavax campaign using Lot 75116, the same lot trialed on the gay community almost a decade prior17. This survey found no infection among the Swazi pre-vaccination. Post, 40% of the general population was infected.18

Such a high infection rate might be plausible among young urban gays. But how does this happen among rural, conservative19, Christian families in sparsely populated20 farming villages with a capital of 1,000 inhabitants? Why were babies infected but not their mothers? True, most Swazi new mothers were infected. But pregnant women were also vaccinated.

Why were their husbands uninfected? These regions where women, but not men, got Heptavax were the only regions where AIDS primarily infected women.

Right next to the Swazi is Venda, which shares the same demographic. Yet while the Swazi had the highest rate, next door, Venda had been spared with the lowest rate for nearly 10 years21. Then in the 1990s Venda became the last state to get what was still left of Merck’s 20-year old Heptavax inventory, after which Venda’s rates caught up.

Here is the HIV infection rate in Congo, Central Africa, the epicenter since the 1950’s22. Here it is to the north. And here to the south where Merck continued selling Heptavax a decade after seeing the CDC trial results.

South Africa’s first HIV + case was a gay man infected in the US. For 5 years it exclusively affected their gay community23. Then it exploded among black heterosexuals at a rate not seen since the CDC trials, while curiously sparing whites under apartheid.

1990s scientists eviscerated institutions for ignoring the evidence that the majority of the tens of millions of new infections could only be explained by injection, not sex24252627.

I’m setting up a non-profit foundation in Switzerland to get the facts.

Swiss charitable foundations are the most trusted, as they are tightly regulated, and dissolved if they mismanage funds, lack transparency, or deviate from the founding charter28. Fact Mission’s charter will require a diverse board of advisors and strict Swiss-style neutrality to counterbalance my personal bias. Every Fact Mission must strictly hire independent conflict-free researchers to follow the protocol negotiated between all interested parties, including pharma companies that accept the invitation to participate. To prevent internal conflicts as well as external, the charter will prohibit taking sides, stating opinions, hypotheses, or conclusions. It must exclusively fund neutral research to test external hypotheses and stop at publishing raw data.

Uniquely, the charter will obligate protecting sources. Hundreds must have known this but never came forward. When conservative Swiss regulators confirm it is appropriate, the foundation will fund asylum and relocation costs for those facing credible threats. Again, the charter requires neutrality, prohibiting commenting. It only covers costs to protect the source.

For this mission, I propose beginning with digitizing medical records from early AIDS cases, test any remaining blood samples, collect eyewitness testimony, and identify differences in the medical interventions given to blacks and whites under apartheid.

The only financial benefit I might indirectly receive relates to my COVID vaccine injury. A few hours after I was forced to get the jab despite having just recovered from COVID I had a severe inflammatory response. My health insurance refused to cover, claiming vaccine injuries must be reimbursed by government programs. However, those also refuse because health agencies cannot identify a causal link. Perhaps researching Heptavax will demonstrate they don’t always reliably report vaccine harms, thus clearing our biggest hurdle. Jurors might accept Dr. Offit’s expert opinion that COVID vaccines are less safe than Merck’s Heptavax, which he concluded was…

safest vaccine we’ve ever used.

I respectfully ask for your support by sending an email to this address indicating how much you would be able to donate to this first mission. If there are enough pledges, I will, at my expense, register the foundation.

Then I will send pledgers an email with instructions to donate and verify the foundation’s charter, legal status, and that funds will be managed by independent auditors required to disclose all transparently, and exclusively fund the fact-finding mission.

Interested partners, please reach out.

Thank you.


All US Heptavax trials were conducted on the gay population through gay community centers. The New York trial had 1,083 participants, 549 received Heptavax lot 751 between Nov 1978 and May 1980, 534 placebo of which 270 were vaccinated in Feb 1981 and 264 (24%) remained unvaccinated.29 After the trial ended in 1982 roughly 30% of total participants were HIV+ increasing to 40% by 1984.30

The CDC conducted trials in 5 cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, St. Louis31. Most information comes from the San Francisco trial because the San Francisco Health Department explained they had access to the CDC data, that it was a gold-mine explaining the origin of AIDS, that the trial strongly correlated with AIDS cases, and that 70% of participants were infected.32 Paul O’Malley from the SFHD provided detailed information, but stopped short of stating the placebo rate33. We know the SF trial had 359 participant, half receive vaccine April 1980 to July 1981 and about half the placebo group was vaccinated between October 1981 to May 1982. of those 359, 320 had archived blood samples and 158 were HIV+ and 162 were HIV-.34

The only paper I could find that mentions placebo vs vaccine is the Stephen C. Hadler from the CDC, with Paul O’Malley as a co-author. It analyzes the 1,400 (actually 1,402) participants in the CDC’s 5 city trial. It doesn’t include the New York trial3536.

It does not state how many were in the placebo group, though the papers state “half”, and in the SF and NY trials approximately half the placebo group accepted the vaccine. Thus there are likely approximately 350 unvaccinated placebo recipients. This paper looks at the 148 of them who contracted Hepatitis B, the STD the trial was to prevent. Thus it is logical that this 148 are more promiscuous than the other ~200 who did not contract the STD.

Table 1 shows that of those unvaccinated trial participants who later presented with Hepatitis B, 134 were HIV- vs 14 HIV+. That is the 9% rate. A FOIA will be required to get the rate for the unvaccinated placebo that did not contract an STD, but it is logical that it would be a lower rate, and regardless, there is no conceivable way it could erase the statistical significance since 42% of overall trial participants were infected. The paper does mention that among the vaccinated the HIV infection rate was 105 vs 64, over 4x the rate of the unvaccinated. While these numbers align with the overall published rates, the vaccinated vs unvaccinated in this paper cannot be directly compared since the vaccinated presumably had a lower rate of Hepatitis B infection. The key number is that the unvaccinated placebo recipients selected had an HIV infection rate of 9%.

Whenever the CDC or pharma want to exonerate a vaccine from adverse events, they immediately report that rates were similar between vaccine vs placebo. In 1983, just before the HIV test was available, the first thing authorities did was report the case rate among vaccine vs placebo. Once the test came out, if the CDC observed the rates were similarly, the CDC would have used that to exonerate the vaccine. Comparing against placebo has always been the manner of proving causation. Yet in this case, publishing the placebo appears to be forbidden, even though many officials must have had access. This supports the conclusion that health officials did the same for Merck that is already well documented with other pharma companies: They hid the HIV contamination and enabled Merck to sell the remaining Heptavax stock to South Africa’s apartheid regime.


“the rate of AIDS for HB vaccine recipients in CDC vaccine trials among homosexually active men in Denver and San Francisco does not differ from that for men screened for possible participation in the trials but who received no HB vaccine because they were found immune to HB”


Projections of AIDS morbidity and mortality in San Francisco

G F Lemp 1, S F Payne, G W Rutherford, N A Hessol, W Winkelstein Jr, J A Wiley, A R Moss, R E Chaisson, R T Chen, D W Feigal Jr,

"Although these vaccine cohort members were recruited from sexually transmitted disease clinics, they represent lower-risk since none of the cohort members were seropositive for hepatitis B virus at time of recruitment."


Prevalence, incidence, and progression of human immunodeficiency virus infection in homosexual and bisexual men in hepatitis B vaccine trials, 1978-1988

N A Hessol 1, A R Lifson, P M O'Malley, L S Doll, H W Jaffe, G W Rutherford

“359 hepatitis B virus seronegative men were randomized into a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which half the participants received Merck hepatitis B virus vaccine and half received a placebo vaccine.”



“He didn’t know until later that the blood was heavily contaminated with HIV”


No increased incidence of AIDS in recipients of hepatitis B vaccine

J A Golden

7 A study of the incidence of Australia antigen and antibody in nonhuman primates, S L Rivers, M Keeling


Comparative virology of primates.

S S Kalter and R L Heberling


Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Chimpanzees: Titration of Subtypes

Lewellys F. Barker, James E. Maynard, Robert H. Purcell, Jay H. Hoofnagle, Kenneth R. Berquist, William T. London, Robert J. Gerety and Donald H. Krushak


Type B hepatitis: a review of current prospects for a safe and effective vaccine

V J McAuliffe, R H Purcell, J L Gerin


Development and chimpanzee testing of a vaccine against human hepatitis B

E B Buynak, R R Roehm, A A Tytell, A U Bertland 2nd, G P Lampson, M R Hilleman




A controlled clinical trial of the efficacy of the hepatitis B vaccine (Heptavax B): a final report

W Szmuness, C E Stevens, E A Zang, E J Harley, A Kellner

“Participants were recruited from approximately 13,000 homosexual men from New York, who were screened for the presence of HBV markers during our baseline studies conducted between 1974 to 1978”




Immune response to hepatitis B vaccine in newborns

O W Prozesky, C E Stevens, W Szmuness, H Rolka, E J Harley, M C Kew, J E Scholtz, A D Mitchell


Large-scale efficacy trials of hepatitis B vaccines in the USA: baseline data and protocols

W Szmuness

“One lot (no. 751) of the Merck vaccine, consisting of HBsAg, subtype adw with alum adjuvant, has been extensively studied in human volunteers”

“surveillance programs recently conducted by this laboratory”



The Traditional Custom of Chastity and Sexual Restraint in the Education of the Young Swazi Girl

Linda van Rooyen and Cycil Hartell



“Venda and the Cape appeared to be the least affected with rates of 0,64% and 0,66% respectively.”



HIV prevalence in South Africa through gender and racial lenses: results from the 2012 population-based national household survey

M. Mabaso, L. Makola, I. Naidoo, L. L. Mlangeni, S. Jooste & L. Simbayi


HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa not explained by sexual or vertical transmission

David Gisselquist 1, Richard Rothenberg, John Potterat, Ernest Drucker

25 Let it be sexual: how health care transmission of AIDS in Africa was ignored

David Gisselquist , John J Potterat, Stuart Brody, Francois Vachon

“health care exposures caused more HIV than sexual transmission.” “the consensus has suppressed inquiry and dissent…. when conflicting evidence nevertheless emerges, such as infected adults who deny sexual exposures to HIV, routinely rejecting it… epidemiological evidence from field studies completed through 1988 allowed health care transmission was not only significant, but might well have been responsible for more HIV than heterosexual (hereafter sexual) transmission, and we discuss how this evidence might have been ignored.” “(39%) of 44 HIV+ inpatient and outpatient children 1-24 months old to have HIV-negative mothers” “most HIV in sexually less active adults. Studies of HIV in infants and children show significant numbers with proven or presumed non-vertically acquired infections, implicating medical transmission.”


Mounting anomalies in the epidemiology of HIV in Africa: cry the beloved paradigm

Devon D Brewer 1 , Stuart Brody, Ernest Drucker, David Gisselquist, Stephen F Minkin, John J Potterat, Richard B Rothenberg, François Vachon

“why would a relatively low efficiency sexually transmitted virus like HIV outrun more efficiently transmitted STI” “little correlation with the level of risky sexual behaviour shown in these surveys and the epidemic trajectories observed in these countries” “the nation that has experienced a rapid rise in HIV had the smallest proportion of both men and women who reported a non-spousal sex partner in the previous 12 months” “alternative route of transmission, for which medical care and the use of injections are prime candidates” “Dispassionate assessment of our conclusions admittedly depends on a willing suspension of disbelief, since the current paradigm is deeply embedded.... Africans deserve scientifically sound information on the epidemiologic determinants of their calamitous AIDS epidemic”

27 Injection risks and HIV transmission in the Republic of South Africa

S Reid, A A Van Niekerk



No increased incidence of AIDS in recipients of hepatitis B vaccine

J A Golden


Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III infection in a cohort of homosexual men in New York City

C E Stevens, P E Taylor, E A Zang, J M Morrison, E J Harley, S Rodriguez de Cordoba, C Bacino, R C Ting, A J Bodner, M G Sarngadharan, et al.


The prevention of hepatitis B with vaccine. Report of the centers for disease control multi-center efficacy trial among homosexual men

D P Francis, S C Hadler, S E Thompson, J E Maynard, D G Ostrow, N Altman, E H Braff, P O'Malley, D Hawkins, F N Judson, K Penley, T Nylund, G Christie, F Meyers, J N Moore Jr, A Gardner, I L Doto, J H Miller, G H Reynolds, B L Murphy, C A Schable, B T Clark, J W Curran, A G Redeker




Projections of AIDS morbidity and mortality in San Francisco

G F Lemp 1, S F Payne, G W Rutherford, N A Hessol, W Winkelstein Jr, J A Wiley, A R Moss, R E Chaisson, R T Chen, D W Feigal Jr,

"Although these vaccine cohort members were recruited from sexually transmitted disease clinics, they represent lower-risk since none of the cohort members were seropositive for hepatitis B virus at time of recruitment."


Outcome of hepatitis B virus infection in homosexual men and its relation to prior human immunodeficiency virus infection

S C Hadler 1, F N Judson, P M O'Malley, N L Altman, K Penley, S Buchbinder, C A Schable, P J Coleman, D N Ostrow, D P Francis


Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III infection in a cohort of homosexual men in New York City

C E Stevens, P E Taylor, E A Zang, J M Morrison, E J Harley, S Rodriguez de Cordoba, C Bacino, R C Ting, A J Bodner, M G Sarngadharan, et al.

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