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Friday, March 3, 2006 - 8:37pmSanction this postReply
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Interesting...

Much of this article was beyond my comprehension scientifically, but the part about the T-cells was explained to me years ago by my ex, who was involved in AIDS research and is currently working in genetics. What the author writes below about the lack of definition in AIDS was similar to what my ex told me, that the AIDS virus was like a "trickster" virus; everytime it was identified as one virus and combatted, it would "mutate" into something else, defying all possible counterattacks. It could never be pinned down, never definitively defined, and thus, never defeated. The only thing we could hope to achieve is to deal with it as it. (When I hear this kind of talk, I think of a line from Clash of the Titans, in regards to how to defeat the Kraken: "Nothing is invulnerable.") What raises a flag for me in what he told me and what this article argues is his education: we had philosophical disagreements based on my embrace of Objectivism and his leftist education at Temple University. I have a sneaking suspicion that his characterization of the AIDS virus as he was taught is not unconnected to postmodern ideology that defines A as non-A; the same ideology that taught him that Schrodinger's Cat theory meant that reality is subjective and that nothing is better than anything else, just "different." The same ideology that told him deaf people should embrace their deafness as a culture and should not be subjected to the imposition of hearing by those who can (and I though Peter Schwartz was exaggerating in his essay.)




From the article:

"AIDS is said to be caused by a dramatic loss of the immune system’s T-cells, said loss being presumably caused by HIV. Why then could no one agree on how to mathematically model the dynamics of the fundamental disease process – that is, how are T-cells actually killed by HIV? Early models assumed that HIV killed T-cells directly, by what is referred to as lysis. An infected cell lyses, or bursts, when the internal viral burden is so high that it can no longer be contained, just like your grocery bag breaks when it’s too full. This is in fact the accepted mechanism of pathogenesis for virtually all other viruses. But it became clear that HIV did not in fact kill T-cells in this manner, and this concept was abandoned, to be replaced by various other ones, each of which resulted in very different models and, therefore, different predictions. Which model was "correct" never was clear.

As it turns out, the reason there was no consensus mathematically as to how HIV killed T-cells was because there was no biological consensus. There still isn’t. HIV is possibly the most studied microbe in history – certainly it is the best-funded – yet there is still no agreed-upon mechanism of pathogenesis. Worse than that, there are no data to support the hypothesis that HIV kills T-cells at all. It doesn’t in the test tube. It mostly just sits there, as it does in people – if it can be found at all..."



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Friday, March 3, 2006 - 10:31pmSanction this postReply
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Joe, Dr. Culshaw argues that HIV does not cause AIDS, not that it is a tricky virus that they can't defeat because it mutates. She points out that there is zero evidence that the virus destroys T cells, and that scientists who favor the hypothesis can't even agree on how the virus would accomplish this mission!

Other scientists, Peter Duesberg foremost among them, point out that HIV is a retrovirus. Duesberg, who is a recognized authority on retroviruses, explains that this kind of virus is distinguished from other kinds by its inability to destroy cells, as compared with "taking over" those cells. It is precisely this characterisitic of retroviruses that makes them favorites of cancer "virus hunters", who hope to discover a viral cause of cancer--a promiscuous proliferation of cells. A virus that destroys cells could hardly be posited as the cause of an out-of-control multiplication of cells.




Post 2

Friday, March 3, 2006 - 10:54pmSanction this postReply
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Like all sciences that depend on politice regimes for funding, it is often the political solution rather than the scientific solution that is found. Consider the recent work of one doctor on cancer that proves there is no gene or genes for the vast majority of cancer cases, but rather it's a flaw that is generated by damage done to chromosomes. Yet, it's been almost a half-century of cancer research to come to this conclusion...? Again, political solutions of gene causes for diseases are easy to come by since genetics [and in its former guise as eugenics] has become politically convenient and often cited whether it be genetic identification tests or whether it be so-called genotyping of behaviors.

With AIDS, it's a very similar situation where it's very easy to assume a syndrome to be caused by a viral agent since it would make it possible to fund such research compared to AIDS being simply caused by non-viral causes such as a toxic build up a substance or some other set of causes. If one were to follow the current facts on AIDS one could assume a number of causes.

1) Toxic substance buildup. In fact one doctor still proposes this hypothesis, but I haven't found any medical studies supporting it.

2) Independent viral agents that work synergistically on each other. Another hypothesis proposed but never given to medical research studies.

I'm sure there are others, but I write this in the middle of the night so I don't feel like researching. I would love to see others views on this and maybe some source material as well.

-- Bridget



Post 3

Friday, March 3, 2006 - 10:58pmSanction this postReply
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Mark :"She points out that there is zero evidence that the virus destroys T cells, and that scientists who favor the hypothesis can't even agree on how the virus would accomplish this mission! "

Yes, I realize that this is her point. What struck me was the similarity between the "trickster" theory of the ever-changing nature of the virus and the confusion of how the virus operates and lack of agreement on its nature.



Post 4

Saturday, March 4, 2006 - 12:00pmSanction this postReply
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Consider the recent work of one doctor on cancer that proves there is no gene or genes for the vast majority of cancer cases, but rather it's a flaw that is generated by damage done to chromosomes. Yet, it's been almost a half-century of cancer research to come to this conclusion...?

Anyone with half a brain who studied basic biology 40 years ago knew this - politics it is for sure [granted - proving it was  another thing, but the logic of it was there then]........




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Post 5

Saturday, March 4, 2006 - 6:33pmSanction this postReply
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Hmm.. how about 'Why I Quit LRC'?

Add this sidetracked HIV/AIDS crusade to topics such as creationism that Lew has increasingly taken to empasizing despite their irrelevance to libertarianism.




Post 6

Sunday, March 5, 2006 - 5:38pmSanction this postReply
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Aaron, that HIV-causes-AIDS has been shown to be logically indefensible, by Peter Duesberg and others, is hardly irreelevant to libertarianism. For this is a gigantic and horrifying case of command science run amuck. Duesberg's book, Inventing the AIDS Virus, is both an in-depth discussion of the problems with the official hypothesis, and a sobering description of the irresponsible behavior of some of the leading apostles of this state-sanctioned junk science.

On the other hand, Rockwell's showcasing "refutations" of evolutionary theory, so he can promote religious superstition as the alternative, is discouraging.

(Edited by Mark Humphrey on 3/05, 7:12pm)




Post 7

Sunday, March 5, 2006 - 5:52pmSanction this postReply
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Joe, sorry I misread your interesting point. Maybe confusion about the nature of the process that destroys T cells would also show up in haziness about the properties of the viral "causative" agent.

Bridget, Duesberg makes a pretty convincing case that recreational drug abuse--particularly the nitrate inhalents and cocaine heavily used by many homosexual men on the "fast track"--is responsible for AIDS. He also argues persuasively that AZT, an extremely toxic drug prescribed to fight the HIV virus, causes AIDS. AZT is so toxic that it was banned by the FDA for its original use of destroying cancer cells.




Post 8

Monday, March 6, 2006 - 12:10amSanction this postReply
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Some "official" literature on this subject ...

================
A critical analysis of the pharmacology of AZT and its use in AIDS. Curr Med Res Opin. 1999;15 Suppl 1:S1-45.
 
Given that initial HIV infection of an individual instigates abundant HIV replication from inception until death, and that the life of infected T-cells is only several days, the administration of AZT should lead both in vitro and in vivo (i) to decreased formation of proviral DNA; and thus (ii) to decreased frequencies of 'HIV isolation' (detection of p24 or reverse transcription or both) in stimulated cultures/cocultures of T-cells from seropositive individuals; (iii) to decreased synthesis of HIV p24 and RNA ('antigenaemia', 'plasma viraemia', 'viral load') ultimately resulting in low or absent levels of all three parameters; and (iv) to a perfect and direct correlation between all these parameters.

A critical analysis of the presently available data shows that no such evidence exists, an outcome not unexpected given the pharmacological data on AZT. HIV experts all agree that only the triphosphorylated form of AZT (AZTTP) and not the unphosphorylated form administered to patients, nor its mono- or diphosphate, is the active agent.

Furthermore, the mechanism of action is the ability of AZTTP to halt the formation of HIV-DNA (chain termination). However, although this claim was posited from the outset, AZT underwent clinical trials and was introduced as a specific anti-HIV drug many years before there were any data proving that the cells of patients are able to triphosphorylate the parent compound to a level considered sufficient for its putative pharmacological action.

Notwithstanding, from the evidence published since 1991 it has become apparent that no such phosphorylation takes place and thus AZT cannot possess an anti-HIV effect. However, the scientific literature does elucidate: (i) a number of biochemical mechanisms which predicate the likelihood of widespread, serious toxicity from use of this drug; (ii) in vitro data proving that AZT has significant antibacterial and antiviral properties which confound interpretation of its effects when administered to patients.

Based on all these data it is difficult if not impossible to explain why AZT was introduced and still remains the most widely recommended and used anti-HIV drug.
================

... and ...

================
Immediate versus deferred zidovudine (AZT) in asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic HIV infected adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(3):CD002039.
 
MAIN RESULTS: Nine trials were included in the meta-analysis. During a median follow-up of 50 months, 1908 individuals developed disease progression, of whom 1351 died. In the deferred group, 61% started antiretroviral therapy (median time to therapy 28 months, which was AZT monotherapy in 94%).

During the first year of follow-up immediate AZT halved the rate of disease progression (P<0.0001), increasing the probability of AIDS-free survival at one year from 96% to 98%, but this early benefit did not persist: after 6 years AIDS-free survival was 54% in both groups, and at no time was there any difference in overall survival, which at 6 years was 64% with immediate and 65% with deferred AZT (rate ratio [RR] 1.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0. 94 to 1.15).

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: Although immediate use of AZT halved disease progression during the first year, this effect was not sustained, and there was no improvement in survival in the short or long term.
================

Ed






Post 9

Monday, March 6, 2006 - 3:55pmSanction this postReply
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I'm skeptical, but intrigued. All else being equal, I'm going to assume that legions of medical doctors know what they are talking about, but there have been precedents.

For years, ulcers were thought to be caused by stress, spicy foods, etc. Until some very brave scientists proved that it caused by a latent bacterium

The bacterium was rediscovered in 1982 by two Australian scientists Robin Warren and Barry Marshall; they isolated the organisms from mucosal specimens from human stomachs and were the first to successfully culture them[4]. In their original paper, Warren and Marshall contended that most stomach ulcers and gastritis were caused by colonization with this bacterium, not by stress or spicy food as had been assumed before[5].

The medical community was slow to recognize the role of this bacterium in stomach ulcers and gastritis, believing that no bacterium could survive for long in the acidic environment of the stomach. The community began to come around after further studies were done, including one in which Marshall drank a Petri dish of H. pylori, developed gastritis, and the bacteria were recovered from his stomach lining, thereby satisfying three out of the four Koch's postulates. Marshall's gastritis later resolved without treatment. Marshall and Warren went on to show that antibiotics are effective in the treatment of gastritis. In 1994, the National Institutes of Health published an opinion stating that most recurrent gastric ulcers were caused by H. pylori, and recommended that antibiotics be included in the treatment regimen[6]. In 2005, Warren and Marshall were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work on H. pylori[7]. (Emphasis Added)


It's inspiring to see what lengths some will go to find the truth. It turns out that stress, spicy foods, etc. were aggravating factors, but not the cause of ulcers. A classic logical confusion of cause and effect, ossified by a good amount of medical phariseeism.

HIV, on the other hands, has been better shown to fulfill Koch's Postulates. Can someone explain how Dr. Culshaw and other HIV skeptics disagree with these findings?

(Edited by Protagonist
on 3/06, 5:36pm)




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