To: Members of the Human Retrovirus Subcommittee of the Retrovirus Study Group
From: Harold Varmus
The results of our recent poll were as follows:
10 preferred HIV
3 preferred HTLV-3/LAV or LAV/HTLV-3*
0 had no preference
0 wanted further discussion.
(* 1 member who previously supported HTLV-3/LAV did not return a ballot but has been assumed to prefer his earlier choice.)
In view of the returns, I believe we should now take our recommendations concerning the use of "human immunodeficiency
virus" to the scientific community and the wider public through the letter enclosed in duplicate. Please sign one copy
and return it to me directly; save the other for your records.
Once I know whether those who preferred HTLV-3/LAV are now willing to support HIV, I will send a copy of the letter, accompanied
by the names of all those subscribing to it, to the journals I mentioned in an earlier memo; this information will also be
sent with a covering letter to several newspapers and magazines, to the many colleagues who corresponded with us during our
deliberations, and to each of you. David Kingsbury has obtained reassurance that those in the higher echelons of the ITCV
will abide by our decision.
I thank each of you for the time and thought you have given to this difficult
and protracted task.