Dr. Anthony Fauci's division of the National Institutes of Health paid over $200,000 during the coronavirus pandemic for researchers to study why transgender women have high rates of HIV by injecting male monkeys with female hormones.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in December 2021 gave Scripps Research $205,562 for the study, which aims to determine why transgender women have high rates of HIV. As part of the study, researchers subject male monkeys to feminizing hormone therapy to study how it impacts the monkeys' immune systems, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Fauci has overseen rampant animal testing since he took over the NIAID in 1984. It was revealed in November that the NIAID funded a study that infected beagles with heart-worm larvae and euthanized them after experimentations. As part of another study, researchers infected beagles with mutated bacteria from ticks.
The NIAID began running HIV vaccine tests on monkeys a year after Fauci took charge. Each year, the department acquires 400 to 600 rhesus monkeys from a South Carolina island leased by Charles River Laboratories, which has a $27.5 million contract with the NIAID.
Dr. Katherine Roe, a neuroscientist with PETA, says the study is "yet another pointless, wasteful monkey torture experiment."
"It's just bad science to suggest that dosing monkeys with feminizing medication makes them good stand-ins for humans," Roe told the Washington Free Beacon. "This study will not help to prevent or treat HIV and will not help transgender women."
Roe says the study is ineffective because monkeys cannot contract HIV. They contract Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, a milder form of the disease. She faults the National Institutes of Health for spending billions of dollars on using monkeys in HIV research, since the primates cannot contract AIDS.
Scripps Florida told the Free Beacon that testing "sub-populations" is the key to discovering effective treatments for fatal diseases.
"The research you reference concerns a sub-population of people at greater risk of HIV infection, and factors that may or may not affect their response to a treatment/preventative approach in development," a spokeswoman said. "It is through these types of targeted research studies that substantive progress against HIV, cancer, ALS, dementia—indeed most diseases and conditions—will be made."
The NIAID did not respond to requests for comment.
The NIAID has granted millions of dollars to researchers who study HIV transmission in transgender individuals, who are 49 times more likely to get HIV than non-transgender individuals. The agency gave over $155,000 to a University of Alabama researcher to study how testosterone treatment for women potentially weakens disease-fighting microorganisms in the vagina. Researchers at Emory University received over $230,000 to study how the rectum immune cells of transgender people affect HIV risk.