Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Medicine. Anything human!
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I read an article that was brought to me by my cousin. It was stated there that HIV is the virus that is calculated by its behavior but has never been photographed nor physically spotted in any other way.
Here is a brief summary of that article transladed by me from Russian. (sorry for my mistakes if there are any)
"Immunodeficiency virus has never been found. Given that no one denies that AIDS has been known for more than 40 years, it causes the most serious diseases: from pneumonia to tuberculosis, etc.) However, the hypothesis that the disease is responsible for the spread of HIV is not scientifically confirmed.
This implies another interesting consequence. As you know, in order to make a diagnostic test for a virus you need a protein extracted from a particular virus. But if there is no virus, there is no protein and its derivatives. All existing tests for HIV are not performed in this manner, they do not diagnose the virus itself, but merely trying to guess the existence of immunodeficiency itself but that is not the same thing. Accordingly, the test gives a positive result in all cases with a sharp decline in immunity."
I was wondering if there are any ideas???
Medical diagnostics of HIV relies on detection of the viral proteins as well as nucleic acids (here RNA), so that alone should pretty clearly indicate that there is a virus and that it has been identified. Also, detecting specific antibodies in the patient's blood gives indirect evidence of the virus.
Furthermore, multiple electron microscope images of HIV exist, pick your favourite microbiology textbook or some reliable (university/research centre) microbiology web site and have a look.
HIV or its fragments can be isolated from AIDS positive patients, and HIV positive persons almost invariably develop AIDS at some stage, although proper medication can delay that for decades. People suffering from AIDS can infect other people, who then become HIV positive and later develop AIDS.
There is nothing in HIV that would make it so special that it couldn't be diagnosed or visualised in a similar way many other viruses are. There is a lot of more evidence of HIV and its relationship to AIDS than there is for many other viruses and their respective diseases.
To be honest, I don't know what the hell the author of that "article" is trying to say or achieve, but sounds like they're either completely clueless or try deliberately confuse people who do not know much about the given disease...
Last edited by biohazard on Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Well, just crossed my mind... from what year that article was? I mean, if it's 2008 or so then it's just bullshit. But if it's like 1986 or something this is a completely another story
There's an article with pretty much similar claims (mostly referring to articles from -97 to -99 or so):
There's a lot of room for nitpicking here: certain people claim that HIV hasn't been "found" if the whole viral particles can only be found from cell/virus cultures and not from the blood of the patients. I'm not sure why they insist on isolating complete viral particles from the blood in the first place, since viral proteins & nucleic acids pretty clearly indicate the existence of the virus. Furthermore, the virus can be readily isolated from the white blood cells where it replicates. For most of the time during the infection, the amount of the actual virus in the plasma is small, but it does exist in the plasma and can be detected from there.
Maybe the tests 10-15 years ago indeed were as poor as claimed in this article, but I can assure you that for example my colleagues do HIV testing almost daily in the building next to me, and their systems are extremely reliable in detecting the presence of the virus itself, as well as its direct link to AIDS.
Although you shouldn't blindly believe in anything, you should still consider what are the odds if 1 scientist claims that there is no HI virus and the tests target something completely different, and then there are 9999 scientists who have carefully studied the virus and its diagnostics for decades and agree that the current tests reliably do what they are said to do.
If you have any doubts, I suggest you read e.g. Janeway's Immunobiology (7th edition, 2008) by Murphy, Travers & Walport and read the chapter concerning HIV. It's very comprehensive and well-written, and pretty damn clearly explains the existence of the virus (even with pictures of the virus itself )
Yes i agree!! But still... which are the chances of a wrong "HIV positive diagnosis" by the "indirect evidence". Other viruses might have viral proteins, nucleic acids and RNA. I still did not share the idea of this article from the first place but today i found this link from a different forum. So, this article was written by AIDS dinialists and here is a source from wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_denialism
Well, it seems every broadly accepted theories have people who doubt them, be it AIDS, evolution, vaccination safety or whatever. To a certain degree this is good, because the fact that a lot of people believe in something does not guarantee that something is so. After all, everybody thought the Earth was flat less than a millennium ago. Or as a more recent example, only a few decades ago any scientist or physician who would have claimed that gastric ulcers were caused by bacteria would have been laughed at and even endangered their career, until one Barry Marshall actually ate a culture of Helicobacter pylori in order to prove the sceptics that it were bacteria, not stress or spicy food that actually caused the ulcers.
This being said, whilst certain amount of scepticism is okay, refusing to look at an overwhelming amount of scientific facts isn't okay, it is stupid. Wrong negative HIV test results may happen in certain very rare cases, and even these are usually double checked. False positive results with modern diagnostics are RARE, I dare to say that with up to date equipment and kits they do not happen, unless someone mixes up the samples. Without going too much into details of today's HIV diagnostics, I can assure you that even though all viruses contain viral proteins and nucleic acids, the modern tests can reliably pick out the HIV specific ones - just like in any other similar viral diagnostic procedure.
I think even the introductory part of that Wiki article quite well states that the group of AIDS denialists base their shaky theories on outdated data and refuse to accept an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence. Some people just stick to their weird ideas no matter what you say or how you try to convince them.
Rest assured, my friend, HIV does exist, the strains of that virus are the causative agent of a condition called AIDS, and it can be reliably and specifically identified with routine laboratory diagnostics. The virus can also be cultured, or with some more sophisticated methods it can be isolated from the white blood cells, lymphatic tissue or even from the plasma.
Ironically, I'm in the process of editing that very Wiki article for it's amazing amount of inconsistencies and sometimes downright wrong/deceitful portrayl of the facts. I am really saddened to see how little is really known about HIV right back to it's supposed origins.
I'm not going to do a massive history lesson, but suffice it to say a lot of the "science" around HIV has been guess work or assumptions. While some believe that HIV doesn't exist, most HIV DISSIDENTS believe either it alone cannot cause AIDS (i.e. a co-factor is required or it is useless, such as it's actual founder, Luc Montagnier, believes), or that HIV exists, but cannot create AIDS no matter how you cut it. You'll find a considerable amount of the HIV defenders themselves try to cite original, "outdated" data that has now been proven to be corrupted by Gallo and rewritten to suit a very specific agenda. In fact one line scribbled out by Gallo specifically stated that, "Despite intensive research efforts, the causative agent of AIDS has not yet been identified." Source: http://www.fearoftheinvisible.com/ Even if you believe that the original studies were pure, when Gallo was called to trial in an Australian court he admitted that only 40% of the original AIDS patients he studied had HIV.
When HAART drugs were introduced into the market in the early 90s their effectiveness at "saving lives" convinced several dissidents to jump on the HIV=AIDS bandwagon, BUT when you look at a few other interesting circumstances you see how useless/dangerous the drugs really are. First, why the decrease in deaths when HAART began? Well in 1993 the CDC changed the definition of AIDS patients to allow perfectly healthy, symptom free HIV+ people to be diagnosed with AIDS if their CD4 cells dropped below a certian level. Because this can happen naturally, changes throughout the day, and has been shown to be a useless diagnosis of immunity, more healthy people than ever were being given drugs for which there was no cause. Of course there weren't as many AIDS patients dying when the definition of the disease just changed. The LATEST figures from any government/scientific census show that the leading cause of death among "AIDS" patients is kidney/liver failure/disease. Unfortunately, those aren't the result of any of the opprotunistic infections that can afflict an AIDS patient-- those are the side effects of the drugs the AIDS patient is taking.
"If HIV doesn't exist then how is it destroying Africa?!" It isn't. South Africa's own government acknowledges that HIV/AIDS amounts for ONE percent of all mortalities in the country (I know Africa is more than just South Africa, but it's just one example). source: http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/ ... P03093.pdf
I'm not saying there isn't evidence to support the HIV/AIDS theory, because there is. However, to be scientific and objective you have to look at the many holes in the theory AND the support of evidence for the HIV=Harmless side as well, which the orthodox is blindly ignoring (with the exception of the Semmelweis Society who awarded Prof. Duesberg <the scientist most outspoken against HIV=AIDS> with the prestigious "clean hands" award). This is just the tip of the iceberg for the case against HIV, but that alone will hopefully make some people think.
Probably any new theory in today's science, when it's first published, has its flaws and there may even be plain mistakes on the way as well. I don't think citing some old work from Gallo or other early HIV researchers really helps anything - there is a lot of recent data with more solid basis because of all the independent data gathered since. Whether HAART treatment is the right choice for HIV patients is a whole different story. I'm pretty sure that everybody who has had anything to do with that treatment knows that it causes a lot of side effects and problems, and many patients stop taking their medication because of that. This being said, I've seen pretty solid figures about the HAART 's effect on the progress of the disease, and in most cases it can give years, even decades for the patients.
And what comes to South Africa and it's government: they have a long tradition of giving out misleading data as well as misleading information on their HIV/AIDS situation, so I'm not sure if their reports are worth that much. Their current government claims the times have changed, but much of the data under that url is from -97 onwards, so who knows how correct it is. And even if it was correct, AIDS accounting for 1% of deaths is a lot for any country, even though I know many African countries have much worse AIDS situation than South Africa.
I also admit that there are things we don't know about HIV yet, and the treatments are new as well. So yes there is certainly lot to improve in HAART, but I don't think the drawbacks in it are nearly as severe as the disease it treats (unless of course you have that kidney failure and kick the bucket...). Pharmaceutical companies surely want to give a rosy picture about their precious tools of trade for sure, so I'm more than glad that there are people who view the situation critically.
I'm not quite as happy to see people still claiming HIV to be harmless or not causing AIDS, though, because THAT link has been so extensively studied and proved that there shouldn't be any doubt left. If someone manages to disprove that, then I guess the next thing we'll see is that the Earth is flat after all
I'll acknowledge that every new theory has it's flaws, but the problem is when you present a clearly flawed theory from the start as fact and begin treating people accordingly. Remember, in the past Gallo tried to link HIV to cancer during the "War on Cancer," and as soon as the fight changes to AIDS, HIV is now the cause of that too. I think the dissidents focus on the early research not because new data counters their claims, but because the new data is in some way BASED off of the old research.
You mentioned HAART drugs prolonging lives, but again, remember that these numbers are often from healthy, active people who happen to test HIV+ and have low t-cells (which even newer studies are beginning to question the assumed importance of T-cells since many people can have an AIDSish number and still be very healthy) so were given HAART to save them from the future. You make the side-effects sound like an upset stomach or a dry mouth. The side-effects can range from AIDS type diseases, or kidney/liver shut-down. Again, looking at the cause of death in AIDS patients, MORE are dying from drug type side effects than the known opportunistic infections.
I'll also agree that 1% of deaths is still a lot, but it's hardly an epidemic of massive proportions. Even if they give misleading data, I highly doubt they would be downright fraudulent (i.e. the mortality rate from HIV is really 20%). In fact, I think it was the CDC that just admitted the number of AIDS victims in Africa may have been overstated by 7 million, with independent researchers hypothesizing the numbers may be as high as 15 million. I'm not sure on this one but I think I read something about a similar situation in India.
It will be very hard for someone to disprove that HIV=AIDS theory because everyone is operating off the paradigm that this theory is correct. Therefore all the research is geared towards how/why. Think about how many times the theory on how HIV worked or what it does has changed SO many times. You could argue that we're learning more, or you could also argue that the theory doesn't quite fit so we have to keep giving the virus new properties/methods for it to fit into the existing idea.
Luc Montangier just won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of HIV, but he has been interviewed saying quite a few disturbing facts: 1. He did not purify HIV (side note: the photographs of HIV are all "old" and these photographs that came from Gallo were in fact proven to not be HIV by the very lab taking them <that's actually in the feartheinvisible.com papers>) 2. HIV cannot cause AIDS by itself, it needs a co-factor 3. A normal, healthy person's immune system will render HIV harmless. Even the man who created the PCR, the test used to show the viral load is an HIV Dissident and said his test should NOT be used in HIV.
I have to run, but just wanted to comment real quick.
I still think it is not worthwhile citing isolated quotes from few selected scientists in order to support these claims. We'd need to know for example the date of the interview, the context in general and whether the given scientist has later changed their mind. And even so, one can always find quotes that support whatever claims one might have - I think the big picture is what counts, not what a few persons have said. Much may have been said when these persons didn't yet know as much about the virus as they did afterwards. Also, the inventor of PCR does not necessarily know much about HIV, or viral diseases in general.
Also, out of curiosity, what is this co-factor that HIV is said to need? It is well known that HIV requires that certain receptors are expressed on the surface of the target cells, and that along its primary target molecule the virus also needs a so-called co-receptor (the receptor/co-receptor requirements vary by the HIV strain). But this does not change anything about the virus and its realtionship with AIDS. Or does someone suspect there is some completely independent co-factor, like another virus or a drug..? And if so, what that might be?
Then something about statistics: you say that HAART causes more deaths than opportunistic infections. Well, at the moment this could even be the case among patients on HAART, because they do not develop secondary (opportunistic) infections - that is the ultimate goal of the treatment after all. When you compare populations on HAART and with no treatment at all, you can see that virtually all people without treatment eventually die on secondary infections and their life expectancy is much shorter than for people that receive treatment. Treating AIDS is a lot like treating cancer: the methods are often harsh, but the disease is even more so. Both treatments also have many side-effects, of which some are very serious.
A normal person's immune response may be able to eliminate HIV before it can cause a systemic infection - as far as I know the scientists still aren't sure about the initial first steps of the infection. That is, it is unclear whether the immune system can sometimes protect us from the infections if we get exposed to the virus. However, what is not unclear is that when exposed to the virus, vast majority of us is in danger of contracting the disease, and when the infection is established, it is permanent (with current treatment options). Some very few people seem to have mutations in the target receptors of the virus and are thus immune to some strains. Also, I think there are some cases of people (mainly prostitutes) who have been repeatedly exposed to the virus, but their immune response manages to eliminate the virus. Some of these people have later been infected when they have lessened their exposure to the virus, apparently because the immune response has weakened with lesser exposure.
These are some very rare cases, though, so you or I would probably be majorly screwed if we were exposed to the virus...
Finally, not all electron micrographs or other images of HIV come from Gallo like your side note suggests. There are loads of reliable pictures from various research groups published every year. Here is a 2003 example of some nice AFM images for you in a peer-reviewed form:
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articl ... tid=254268
That is also a good article about imaging HIV and its structure in general with various quality control methods to ensure the results are what they are supposed to be. There are also good references to other such studies. Enjoy.
I'm not a biologist but I did read somewhere that many cases of aids in 3rd world countries are diagnoses without blood sampling. They're also not usually treated. So in the case of many African countries, local doctors (not in the big cities) would diagnose based on symptoms or the presence of other diseases that don't usually occur unless one has a compromised immune system. A seperate article I read was that long term bacterial infections like malaria in 3rd world countries can suppress the immune system enough to allow diseases like TB to surface and others usually seen in someone with a compromised immune system. So in my mind, putting clues together I theorize that many people that are claimed to have aids in 3rd world countries may not, but rather, have a compromised immune system from common bacterial infections and then manifest herpes breakouts, tb and other diseases considered triggered by the lack of immunity.
Still, HIV does exist, if the above is true or not and there is an undeniable link to AIDS. Even if research is iffy, millions of examples suggest a connection.
That is probably true: whilst AIDS patients often develop typical secondary infections, you cannot give a reliable diagnosis based on those, unless the patient has been earlier tested positive for HIV. However, in Africa most of the patients diagnosed only by symptoms are quite likely AIDS patients, since other pathogens fairly rarely make patients susceptible to similar secondary infections. This cases do occur, though, and can be falsely categorised as AIDS.
Any statistics emerging from many parts of Africa must be viewed critically, because the local epidemic surveillance is often much behind of the standards we've used to in the industrialised countries.
These things never have to be proven to the patient, or even the doctor: the important thing is putting faith in the research scientists who set up the protocols. Consider the how history of this medical hypothesis was fraught with controversy: the accidental ingestion of the inhalant amyl nitrate could cause kaposi's sarcoma and pneumonia, but this was not explored as a disease source in the initial patients - instead, a theory was developed of the first retrovirus that was said to be deadly within an indeterminate amount of time, antibodies to which would mean infection, the target cells being something that belonged in the lymph nodes where the technology was just emerging to count in the blood. Less than half the patients exhibited the antibodies, which were a group of ten or so proteins, and a standard has never been universally applied for their evaluation; when data was made available from military inductions, a strong trend towards those of African descent being more frequently positive was shown (this tendency has been depicted as showing the results of greater promiscuity in the black community) so the notion these are genetically normal antibodies has not been eliminated. This was also the first time antibodies were used to demonstrate hopeless infection rather than the body overcoming an infection, because the theory was the body's system failed. The test inserts all say that particular test is not conclusive proof of the presence of the virus - however, once a test is done with the group of proteins for the antibodies combined, it is confirmed by virtually the same test that simply separates the proteins so that each band can be identified: while neither test claims to show the virus, both together being positive would show the antibodies are there, and faith in the presumption they are relevant enforces the belief the virus is present. In Africa, a slimming disease that had existed long before somehow became indisputable evidence of the effects of a new virus; a recent 60 Minutes piece showed testing splitting up happy couples, giving a message of doom to the seemingly healthy, and implied the children who tested positive but were not taken in for treatment died of disease (my suspicion was the community would no longer feed them) - taking the medication was all-important, even though one young girl could not say what would happen if she did not. Treatment for a retrovirus had never before existed.
The testing for azt by available accounts, did not stand up to ideal scientific method: reputedly, patients in the placebo group became aware the others were getting the real 'medication' because they were becoming so ill they required transfusions for anemia, and they began to share; as patients became progressively sicker, there may have been some switching across groups; and as was reported on public radio, when the toxicity of this drug at high doses had its ultimate effect, the camera came in to show the world what aids was. There are numerous personal accounts where those who for some reason did not take the high-dose azt had to bury their friends who did. Then came the era of the cocktail, the current protocol, where azt was reduced to a level where its toxicity would be less immediately apparent, hence the lives of patients were 'lengthened': the insert says it can cause the symptoms people associate with aids. It stops replication because it resembles the amino acid in dna that terminates the chain. The protease inhibitor has been associated with failure of the digestive tract (from independent testing on mice). The 'side effects' are endured in the hope of the villain virus being held at bay; some patients are switched onto similar protocols when they have been undergoing severe reactions. The inserts admit to a variety of problems that can be caused by ingesting those substances. But the t-cells were tagged and monitored by a virologist who found those using this cocktail may have had higher counts in the blood, but those cells were dying faster than the ones in untreated patients whose t-cells remained where they belonged in the lymph - cell migration has been admitted as the reason for higher cell counts in treated patients.
As for the testing of the progression of 'the disease' there are two surrogate markers, viral load and t-cell count. The count of t-cells in healthy people can vary widely, and its response to protocol has been considered. If viral load testing were done on the general public, many healthy people could be terrified at how high theirs is - but it comes down to undetectable once a dna chain terminator has been introduced into the system, which makes patients feel good about their condition, perhaps despite how they actually feel. The viral load test counts the growing of fragmentary material in the laboratory. It is not the job of even a specialist in the field to question the protocol; and since the patients have a predetermined death sentence, fervently inducing them to use apparently toxic medication to have better results for misleading surrogate markers until they perish (liver failure has been reported as frequent) cannot be spun as anything but an act of kindness. It is not necessary to prove anything about hiv and aids, but we all must believe what we have been told, lest we become the guilty party for having lost faith in our betters.
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