Co-discoverer of HIV, Luc Montagnier dies aged 89

French virologist, Luc Montagnier, the man credited as a co-discoverer of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), has died aged 89.

Luc Montagnier died on Tuesday, February 8 in the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, northwest of Paris, the town’s mayor told reporters. 

Local news site FranceSoir reported he died on Tuesday in Neuilly-sur-Seine “surrounded by his children”.

Montagnier was jointly awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize for his work in isolating the virus that causes Aids but was later dismissed by the scientific community for his increasingly unsubstantiated theories, especially on Covid-19.

Co-discoverer of HIV, Luc Montagnier dies aged 89

AIDS – acquired immune deficiency syndrome – first came to public notice in 1981, when US doctors noted an unusual cluster of deaths among young gay men in California and New York.

Montagnier and Francoise Barre-Sinoussi shared the Nobel in 2008 for their work at the Pasteur Institute in Paris in isolating the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Their achievement sped the way to HIV tests and antiretroviral drugs that keep the deadly pathogen in check.

Co-discoverer of HIV, Luc Montagnier dies aged 89

Montagnier had a bitter rivalry with US scientist Robert Gallo in his ground-breaking work in identifying HIV at the virology department he created in Paris in 1972.

Till this day both are co-credited with discovering that HIV causes AIDS, and their rivalry led to a legal and even diplomatic dispute between France and the United States.

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