The great HIV/AIDS thread



this is your friendly Biology & Genetics Moderator speaking. Apparently there is within the cohorts of sciforums a need to discuss AIDS/HIV. And you are welcome to do this in the biology & genetics subforum.

However, I must warn you in advance. This is not the pseudoscience subforum. You will have to support your opinion, preferrably with specific examples, cases, logical arguments, reliable sources etc.

Non-compliance with this request may lead to moderator interference since it is the general aim to base this subforum broadly on scientific principles.

I'm terribly sorry if this sounds oppressive to you but maybe the biology & genetics forum isn't the best subforum for you if this is the case.

As always instructions from your friendly Biology & Genetics moderator are to be taken seriously.
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Presently the definition of Aids is this:

"Definition AIDS currently defined as an illness characterised by the development of one or more AIDS-indicating conditions. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the USA accepts all patients with a CD4 count of less than 200 x 106/L as having AIDS irrespective of the presence of an indicator disease, but this has not yet gained acceptance worldwide."

re Metakron's debate re HIV and Aids, hardly pseudoscience when phd researchers in the field (ie: not blokes who refer to wikipedia as a source) are debating it as recently as 2006.

Metakron said this:

"An infectious disease of the immune system caused by an human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)"

The beginning of the idea of an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is of course the definition of same. I do not believe that a good definition of an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome would include a single cause of that syndrome. The words behind the acronym "AIDS" are pretty much self-explanatory. "Acquired" means that the patient gets it from somewhere. Radiation was one of the big known causes of immune deficiency before 1981. So was syphilis. There are also simple physical exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, chemical exposures like immune suppressing drugs and various chemicals found in industrial settings, and diseases like malaria.

A scientific definition of AIDS is not valid if the definition says that it has to be caused by one particular thing. It's too obvious. It is not valid to claim that the virus can be infered by the symptoms when the symptoms can be caused by other causes of immune suppression, and when the symptoms can be caused by other known diseases.

If we are not working with a valid definition of AIDS, there is nowhere to go. ”

I responded with these two sources - legitimate sources, ie: not wikipedia

This was written 2006 by a PHD mathematical biologist

Rebecca V. Culshaw, Ph.D. [send her mail], is a mathematical biologist who has been working on mathematical models of HIV infection for the past ten years. She received her Ph.D. (mathematics with a specialization in mathematical biology) from Dalhousie University in Canada in 2002 and is currently employed as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at a university in Texas.

"Why I Quit HIV
by Rebecca V. Culshaw

As I write this, in the late winter of 2006, we are more than twenty years into the AIDS era. Like many, a large part of my life has been irreversibly affected by AIDS. My entire adolescence and adult life – as well as the lives of many of my peers – has been overshadowed by the belief in a deadly, sexually transmittable pathogen and the attendant fear of intimacy and lack of trust that belief engenders.

To add to this impact, my chosen career has developed around the HIV model of AIDS. I received my Ph.D. in 2002 for my work constructing mathematical models of HIV infection, a field of study I entered in 1996. Just ten years later, it might seem early for me to be looking back on and seriously reconsidering my chosen field, yet here I am.

My work as a mathematical biologist has been built in large part on the paradigm that HIV causes AIDS, and I have since come to realize that there is good evidence that the entire basis for this theory is wrong. AIDS, it seems, is not a disease so much as a sociopolitical construct that few people understand and even fewer question. The issue of causation, in particular, has become beyond question – even to bring it up is deemed irresponsible.


As to the question of what does cause AIDS, if it is not HIV, there are many plausible explanations given by people known to be experts. Before the discovery of HIV, AIDS was assumed to be a lifestyle syndrome caused mostly by indiscriminate use of recreational drugs. Immunosuppression has multiple causes, from an overload of microbes to malnutrition. Probably all of these are true causes of AIDS. Immune deficiency has many manifestations, and a syndrome with many manifestations is likely multicausal as well. Suffice it to say that the HIV hypothesis of AIDS has offered nothing but predictions – of its spread, of the availability of a vaccine, of a forthcoming animal model, and so on – that have not materialized, and it has not saved a single life.

and there's more

"The existence of the full range of AIDS symptoms and opportunistic infections in both HIV*free and HIV*infected transplant and cancer patients warns us that this logical caveat is one that must be acknowledged in AIDS. HIV infection may be an epiphenomenon of immune suppression rather than a necessary cause. Immune suppression may predispose people to HIV infection (just as it predisposes them to other opportunistic infections) rather than resulting from such an infection. I argue in my book Rethinking AIDS, in fact, that HIV may be just such an epiphenomenon. Every AIDS patient has multiple causes of immune suppression other than HIV, many of which precede HIV infection and some of which occur in the total absence of HIV. The existence of these largely unrecognized immunosuppressive agents in AIDS not only requires a rethinking of the definition of the syndrome as occurring mainly in people without previously identified causes of immune suppression but also necessitates a critical look at the role of HIV as a causative agent in AIDS."

Perhaps you'd better inform these chaps it's pseudoscience Spurious.

I don't have a view on this topic but I present these sources as evidence it's a genuine matter of debate and NOT pseudoscience.

How about (other than wikipedia) you present yours?
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The biochemistry of the body is mysterious. Oh we can measure concentrations of this and that but really we have no idea what the real normal value is.

People in PNG had half the value of serum uric acid than white people (direct experience)

We know people today are full of a toxic mix (more so than primitive people) and with the heavy metals and artificial chemicals, who knows how the physical biochemical expression is altered, all affect the brain, some the liver, some the immune system...... some everything,,, thinking Polonium 210 here

When you have a spectrum of syndromes as in AIDS, with opportunistic infections of low grade pathogens I think you must appreciate that a long exposure time to specific toxins is the incubator, much as tar in smoking is the incubator of lung cancer.

To pin point the actual cause of such a syndrome is very hard because toxins usually potentate in detrimental genetic or biochemical changes, usually through excitation or inhibition. The graphic equaliser just switches to overload and the bugs waiting on the side lines jump in and have a go.
HIV test flawed:

"They made four major points: 1) The tests are not standardized, meaning different labs have different criteria for determining what is negative and what is positive, and 2) not reproducible, meaning the test fails when tested against itself, and repeated tests can alternate between positive and negative; 3) proteins that are thought to be exclusive to HIV might instead be cellular contaminants or debris; and 4) there is no ''gold standard'' for the HIV test, meaning there is no purified isolation of HIV to test against.

They reported on Amazonian Indians who have no contact with anybody outside their tribes and have no AIDS. Somehow, 13 percent of the Indians were HIV-positive, according to the Western Blot test. "The above data,'' the Perth team wrote, ''means either that HIV is not causing AIDS… or the HIV antibody tests are not specific.''

There are at least 70 underlying conditions -- including pregnancy, auto-immune disorders, fever, flu, flu shots and malaria -- that can trigger a false-positive test result. That could account for many of the so-called AIDS cases in Africa, where only the ELISA test -- the more problematic of the two tests -- is used. What if all these Africans are really testing positive for malaria?"
If you look at the symptoms, modes of transmission etc you see

(a) infection is via mucus membranes, so I expect the mucus is gone and the membrane's cells are thin and in poor shape

(b) Aids can be passed onto a suckling child, implying the child's immune system was doomed from conception.

(c) people dying of AIDS were usually being attacked and killed by low grade pathogens such as "non pathogenic" intestinal parasites... see Chron's disease/spastic colon. This can apply to both male and female.

So maybe with more links, a clue here and there, a better picture can be presented. That's what forum are for.
. I can now tell you to believe me. I have a PhD too.

yeh so do I

I too studied long and hard so I could claim everyone was a crackpot and use wikipedia as evidence of this

I emphasise the PhD thing cos you do so bloody often. You rarely contribute any actual knowledge (wikipedia sources not included) other than "I have PhD so I know all there is to know about all things Biology." Which is of course bollocks. If it's not bollocks prove it, post a reply that is relevant and helpful. Comment on the sources opinions.

You waving your Phd about is kind of like you saying you can perform a heart transplant oepration because you are a 'Doctor' ie irrelevant

Aids is not your field, that's obvious.
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Moderator comment

Please people: first state your position: what are you trying to say/ your question. Be specific.

And then write down your argument, be it logical, proof etc.

You cannot expect other people to know what you are thinking.
Position: Koch's postulate fulfilled?

Cohen claimed already in 1994 that Koch's postulate was fulfilled.
But recently some leading AIDS researchers have stopped conceding that HIV doesn’t satisfy Koch’s postulates, as powerful new evidence emerged from tragic accidents: the infection of three laboratory workers with a pure, molecularly cloned strain of HIV. As reported at the 1993 international AIDS conference in Berlin by the National Cancer Institute’s William Blattner and his colleagues, one of the three lab workers developed Pneumocystis pneumonia, an AIDSdefining disease, 68 months after showing evidence of infection. This lab worker had not received AZT (which Duesberg contends can cause AIDS), or any other anti- HIV drug, until 83 months after infection, when the patient had fewer than 50 CD4 cells, the key immune system cells destroyed by HIV. (A healthy person typically has a
count of 600 to 1200 CD4s.) Blattner reported that a second lab worker,
who also received no anti-viral drugs, had 250 to 400 CD4s at 83 months. The third lab worker had CD4 counts of 200 to 500 at 25 months and had been given anti-virals. “These people have no other risk factors” for AIDS, such as illicit drug injection or homosexual
sex, Blattner says.

Source SCIENCE • VOL. 266 • 9 DECEMBER 1994 p1647
Moderator comment

Please people: first state your position: what are you trying to say/ your question. Be specific.

And then write down your argument, be it logical, proof etc.

You cannot expect other people to know what you are thinking.

Reminds me of the toad who tried to sell wart cream.

how about using your own methods as an example of how it should be done Spurious? Guide us to a thread you started to show us how you'd like us all to behave under your mighty rule.

Perhaps you'd like me to guide you to the numerous threads you derailed with nothing more than adhoms and wikipedia as your supporting argument?

This 'sticky' says 'the mighty Aids and HIV thread' suggesting we can post all things Aids and HIV here. You haven't responded to the comments posted, just whining you don't like our style? What are you a PhD in forum posting?
Position: Could drugs be the cause of AIDS?

Duesberg claimed Drugs causes AIDS.

For example, Duesberg cites a study of drug users, both HIV-negative and HIVpositive, in which a Dutch group examined the ability of the drug users’ T lymphocytes to kick into action when stimulated. T lymphocytes
are an important set of immunesystem cells that circulate in the blood; CD4
cells, the group whose progressive decline is the hallmark of AIDS, are a subset of T lymphocytes. The Dutch group found that, among both HIV-positive and HIV-negative drugs users, T cell reactivity decreased as the
frequency of injection increased; Duesberg cites this among his evidence that drug use can cause AIDS.

Well, can't that really be? Was Duesberg right?

But critics of Duesberg’s work say the study actually undermines his case. First, they say, he does not mention that among the drug users in the study who were HIVnegative, the chief indicator of the immune deficiency seen in AIDS—CD4 count—was well within the normal range.

Moreover, researchers subsequently tested Duesbergs theory:
To test Duesberg’s hypothesis, one of the co-authors of the Dutch study, Roel Coutinho of Amsterdam’s Municipal Health
Service, has compared HIV-positive and HIV-negative drug users while controlling for the length of time the two groups injected
drugs. Coutinho compared 86 HIV-negative and 70 HIV-positive drug users who had been injecting for a mean of 7.6 and 9.1 years, respectively. When the duration of drug use was controlled, there was a clear difference between the two groups in CD4 status. Among those not infected with
HIV, the base line CD4 count was 914, within the normal range
. Among those infected with HIV, however, the base line was only 395, well outside the normal range. Between 1989 and 1994, CD4s remained stable
in the HIV-negative group but declined steadily among those infected with the virus. And death from AIDS was associated with
HIV status but not with drug use alone. Among HIV-positives, there were 25 deaths, 10 attributable to AIDS; among HIV-negatives there were eight deaths, none due to AIDS-defining diseases.

there is evidence that heroin can cause immune abnormalities—but not
the type seen in AIDS. According to Rockefeller University’s Mary Jeanne Kreek, who studies immune responses in heroin addicts,
heroin users do not experience a decline in CD4 counts unless they are infected with HIV.

Drug use has no causal correlation to AIDS.

SCIENCE • VOL. 266 • 9 DECEMBER 1994

Can AZT cause AIDS?
Concorde’s principal investigators disagree sharply with Duesberg’s hypothesis that AZT, rather than HIV, causes AIDS. The Concorde data in “no way argue in favor of the hypothesis that AIDS is caused by AZT,”

Concorde was at this point the largest running study of AZT of that time.
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AIDS were spread to humans through monkeys...someone down in Africa did something totally unethical.
1994? 12 years ago!

I am pretty sure things have moved along a tad since then. All things science generally do. Any more recent links?

The scientific debate on the AIDS controversy ended pretty much in 1995. Because the scientific community was satisfied there was none after all parties had had their say in top ranking journals.

Are you argueing that 'science', one of the top journals is not good enough for you?

Wikipedia is not good enough for you?

But a random website is?
HIV causes AIDS

haemophilia patients are probably the best group to study the last principle of Koch's postulate on an epidemiological scale. Needles to say there have been many documented individual cases of health workers being infected by HIV and developing AIDS.

This article pretty much confirmed the notion that HIV causes AIDS
Nature 377, 79 - 82 1995

Mortality before and after HIV infection in the complete UK population of haemophiliacs

DURING 1977-91, 6,278 males diagnosed with haemophilia were living in the UK. During 1979-86, 1,227 were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) as a result of transfusion therapy (median estimated seroconversion date, October 1982). Among 2,448 with severe haemophilia, the annual death rate was stable at 8 per 1,000 during 1977-84; during 1985-92 death rates remained at 8 per 1,000 among HIV-seronegative patients but rose steeply in seropositive patients, reaching 81 per 1,000 in 1991-92. Among 3,830 with mild or moderate haemophilia, the pattern was similar, with an initial death rate of 4 per 1,000 in 1977-84, rising to 85 per 1,000 in 1991-92 in seropositive patients. During 1985-92, there were 403 deaths in HIV seropositive patients, whereas 60 would have been predicted from rates in seronegatives, suggesting that 85% of the deaths in seropositive patients were due to HIV infection. Most of the excess deaths were certified as due to AIDS or to conditions recognized as being associated with AIDS.

This set of patients are not part of the risk group of drug users, homosexuals etc. It is a test of neutrality. These patients represent a normal cross section of the population (with of course the one difference that they suffer from this particular disease and are dependent of blood transfusions).


yes, the article is old, but the controversy in the scientific world was pretty much settled by then as has been said before.
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HIV causes AIDS


yes, the article is old, but the controversy in the scientific world was pretty much settled by then as has been said before.

no it is NOt settled as these links demonstrate

Details re what is debated on the Aids/HIV argument are here:

your insistance this is settled is hindering debate, you are using your view to close the debate and that is unreasonable, the debate is on for those in the field.

As this debate is now on, my little rant in free thoughts has been deleted.
This set of patients are not part of the risk group of drug users, homosexuals etc. It is a test of neutrality. These patients represent a normal cross section of the population (with of course the one difference that they suffer from this particular disease and are dependent of blood transfusions).

The recepients of blood may or may not represent a neutral cross section, but the blood donors from which the HIV infections are supposed to have originated were hopefully not neutral, but rather a cross section heavily weighted toward healthy individuals deemed fit to donate blood, with no obvious sign of poor health.

It seems to me then that what we have here is proof positive that the symptoms of AIDS do not necessarily occur because of HIV infection.

I have been looking around for estimates of the UK population infected with HIV but not yet aware of it.

Any offers?