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Three-Dimensional Structure of HIV Revealed

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the better-understanding-certainly-can't-hurt dept.

Biotech 189

Mutatis Mutandis writes "The BBC is reporting that a team of scientists from Oxford, Heidelberg and Munich has created the first accurate three-dimensional images of the HIV virus. The virus was found to have an average diameter of 125 nanometers, well below the wavelength of visible light. In the past the structure of viruses with a regular structure has been produced by 3D reconstruction techniques that work on a set of electron microscopy images of different viruses, but the irregular structure of HIV does not allow this. Scientists have now used a tomography technique that employs a series of images taken from a single virus, somewhat similar to the better known X-Ray CAT scan, but on a quite different scale." Structure also has a video of the 3-d rendering available for download. Relatedly an anonymous reader writes "A research team at Brown University has genetically modified bacteria found in yogurt so that the bugs produce a protein proven to block HIV infection in monkeys. The results offer hope for a microbicide that can prevent the spread of HIV, which now affects about 40 million people."

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great (4, Funny)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555400)

now every grad student taking a bioinformatics class gets a pop quiz tomorrow!

Prostitute Schedule for Jan. 24 at the MBOT in SF (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14555573)

Folks, check out the updated prostitute schedule [fuckedcompany.com] for January 24 at the Mitchell Brother's O'Farrell Theater (MBOT) in San Francisco. The MBOT is the most convenient way for you to buy a blow job, a hand job, and full service (i.e. vaginal sexual intercourse).

I kid you not.

Please establish a hypertext link to this message. Spread the word!

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14555403)

HIV IS GODS PUNISHMENT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14555406)

REPENT,SINNERS [godhatesfags.com]

Compared to some other viruses, (-1, Flamebait)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555409)

it looks pretty gay

Re:Compared to some other viruses, (0)

EVil Lawyer (947367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555534)

i think this is actually genuinely humorous, and does not rely on true hateful/hurtful feelings to be humorous.

Hello? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14555416)

Does nobody want to talk about Disney buying Pixar [foxnews.com] ?

Monkeys?? (5, Funny)

mattkime (8466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555420)

the bugs produce a protein proven to block HIV infection in monkeys

...but what about treatment for those that don't believe in evolution?

clearly, another example of the scientific elites pushing their liberal agenda

Re:Monkeys?? (1)

Jaruzel (804522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555627)

I don't think the parent is flamebaiting, I think the parent is trying to be sarcastic...

-Jar.

Re:Monkeys?? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555629)

You're trolling the wrong disease. His Noodliness obviously made man and monkeys similar enough to each other for testing purposes.

True ID trolls are all about the inflated reputation of the H5N1 avian flu strain, which could never "evolve" into something that could harm humans.

(Unless, of course, you don't consider viruses to be life.)

Re:Monkeys?? (0, Offtopic)

cnettel (836611) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556064)

Aren't most ID proponents (like even many old-fashin creationists) keen on the idea that some evolution is possible, microevolution or maybe even some new species, but that certain changes are too big "leaps" (the human eye being a popular example)?

That's of course BS, but the interesting part for someone really believing in ID would of course be -- wouldn't the jump between easily infecting birds and easily infecting humans be such a leap? One way is of course to say "no, it's not a leap", but any other explanation, like intermixing with an existing human virus, would naturally also burst their little bubble on that ID would be needed to explain the variety of life at all.

Re:Monkeys?? (3, Insightful)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556417)

Aren't most ID proponents (like even many old-fashin creationists) keen on the idea that some evolution is possible, microevolution or maybe even some new species, but that certain changes are too big "leaps" (the human eye being a popular example)?

Most ID proponents are for any argument which will support their position in a public debate & let them get religion into science classes. They don't really care whether they believe that argument, as long as they can fool the public.

Re:Monkeys?? (0, Troll)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556645)

Aren't most ID proponents (like even many old-fashin creationists) keen on the idea that some evolution is possible, microevolution or maybe even some new species, but that certain changes are too big "leaps" (the human eye being a popular example)?

That's of course BS, but the interesting part for someone really believing in ID would of course be -- wouldn't the jump between easily infecting birds and easily infecting humans be such a leap? One way is of course to say "no, it's not a leap", but any other explanation, like intermixing with an existing human virus, would naturally also burst their little bubble on that ID would be needed to explain the variety of life at all.
Ohhhh, nice straw man tactic there... "Here's my oposition's argument: blah, blah, blah." "And now, this is why that argument is wrong: Blah blah more freaking Blah!"

But honestly, debate the topics, not the easily defeated topic you want your opponent to stand for.

Most ID proponents are for any argument which will support their position in a public debate & let them get religion into science classes. They don't really care whether they believe that argument, as long as they can fool the public.
That argument sounds errily simlar to what can be said about the litigation nation of the left. I don't like that cross, I'll sue you till you take it down or go broke. You can't state your opinon of me (even though I call you a liar, bigot, racist, and any number of things) or I'll SUE YOU! I don't like this, I don't like that, Sue, sue, sue, SUE!!!!!!!!

Don't get me wrong. The right is just as bad with it's, "This is God's Punishment/Plan/Will." If you read your nice little Bible, tell me this: How is man supposed to know the Plan/Will of God? Isn't that elevating yourself to the same status as your deity??

I know this is going way offtopic here, but... Why, why, why, why, why do evolution and Creationism/ID have to be mutually exclusive? Why can't those(like me) who believe in God think that, "Yes, God put everything in motion, but he gave everything in that creation 'free will' (for lack of a better term for chemical processes, motion of atoms, bacteria, virus co-mingling) to evolve into the universe we know today?"

Maybe I'm an old fogey and just think that there is always room for the almagamation of multiple ideas.... Oh, and to the far RIGHT and far LEFT, GET OVER YOURSELVES AND START THINKING FOR YOURSELF!

Cool (5, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555424)

When can I buy the plushie?

Re:Cool (4, Informative)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555567)

right now [giantmicrobes.com] .

Re:Cool (0, Offtopic)

JD Stokes (949202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555583)

JD Stokes does not merely buy plushies, JD Stokes is a PLUSHIE BUSINESSMAN.

Re:Cool (1)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555717)

In soviet russia, plushies buy YOU!

Re:Cool (5, Funny)

catnap_seven (868980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556271)

My guess would be Burger King, judging by the colour scheme [naacp.org]

Science Triumps Agai... err... (0, Troll)

Humorless Coward. (862619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555460)

...zzzz....

All this, just to say the scientists can now _see_ the virus?

I guess that tricky wavelegnth of visible light thing had them befuddled.

No sig.
No sig necessary.

Re:Science Triumps Agai... err... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14555495)

Thanks for the deep insight. I tell you what though, I bet those scientists can spell "Triumph" correctly.

Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (2, Interesting)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555462)

I remember hearing this fringy-sounding stuff that HIV hadn't been proven to cause AIDS, and that a Nobel prize winner -- the guy who invented PCR -- was in agreement.

One of the complaints was that nobody had bothered to isolate HIV, infect creatures, make sure they got AIDS, and so on -- the sort of things that scientists do to prove that something "causes" something.

Among other things, there was the complaint that some people have HIV, but don't get AIDS. And others have AIDS, but no HIV.

Does anyone know why they didn't bother to follow the normal procedures before deciding that HIV was the culprit? That just seems odd.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (4, Informative)

c0dedude (587568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555471)

Yes, HIV causes AIDS. To think otherwise puts millions in danger. The idea that it does not has been rejected for years by mainstream science and is perpetuated by a self-denying HIV infected population, not by science.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (2, Informative)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555499)

Well what about this stuff (these guys are respectable, so WTF??): http://www.virusmyth.net/aids/controversy.htm [virusmyth.net]

        * Dr. Kary Mullis, Biochemist, 1993 Nobel Prize for Chemistry:

                "If there is evidence that HIV causes AIDS, there should be scientific documents which either singly or collectively demonstrate that fact, at least with a high probability. There is no such document." (Sunday Times (London) 28 nov. 1993)

        * Dr. Heinz Ludwig Sänger, Emeritus Professor of Molecular Biology and Virology, Max-Planck-Institutes for Biochemy, München. Robert Koch Award 1978:

                "Up to today there is actually no single scientifically really convincing evidence for the existence of HIV. Not even once such a retrovirus has been isolated and purified by the methods of classical virology." (Letter to Süddeutsche Zeitung 2000)

        * Dr. Serge Lang, Professor of Mathematics, Yale University:

                "I do not regard the causal relationship between HIV and any disease as settled. I have seen considerable evidence that highly improper statistics concerning HIV and AIDS have been passed off as science, and that top members of the scientific establishment have carelessly, if not irresponsible, joined the media in spreading misinformation about the nature of AIDS." (Yale Scientific, Fall 1994)

        * Dr. Harry Rubin, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California at Berkeley:

                "It is not proven that AIDS is caused by HIV infection, nor is it proven that it plays no role whatever in the syndrome." (Sunday Times (London) 3 April 1994)

        * Dr. Richard Strohman, Emeritus Professor of Cell Biology at the University of California at Berkeley:

                "In the old days it was required that a scientist address the possibilities of proving his hypothesis wrong as well as right. Now there's none of that in standard HIV-AIDS program with all its billions of dollars." (Penthouse April 1994)

        * Dr. Harvey Bialy, Molecular Biologist, former editor of Bio/Technology and Nature Biotechnology:

                "HIV is an ordinary retrovirus. There is nothing about this virus that is unique. Everything that is discovered about HIV has an analogue in other retroviruses that don't cause AIDS. HIV only contains a very small piece of genetic information. There's no way it can do all these elaborate things they say it does." (Spin June 1992)

        * Dr. Roger Cunningham, Immunologist, Microbiologist and Director of the Centre for Immunology at the State University of New York at Buffalo:

                "Unfortunately, an AIDS 'establishment' seems to have formed that intends to discourage challenges to the dogma on one side and often insists on following discredited ideas on the other." (Sunday Times (London) 3 April 1994)

        * Dr. Gordon Stewart, Emeritus Professor of Public Health, University of Glasgow:

                "AIDS is a behavioural disease. It is multifactorial, brought on by several simultaneous strains on the immune system - drugs, pharmaceutical and recreational, sexually transmitted diseases, multiple viral infections." (Spin June 1992)

        * Dr. Alfred Hässig, (1921-1999), former Professor of Immunology at the University of Bern, and former director Swiss Red Cross blood banks:

                "The sentence of death accompanying the medical diagnosis of AIDS should be abolished." (Sunday Times (London) 3 April 1994)

        * Dr. Charles Thomas, former Professor of Biochemistry, Harvard and John Hopkins Universities:

                "The HIV-causes-AIDS dogma represents the grandest and perhaps the most morally destructive fraud that has ever been perpetrated on young men and women of the Western world." (Sunday Times (London) 3 April 1994)

        * Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, New York Physician, founder of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR):

                "The marketing of HIV, through press releases and statements, as a killer virus causing AIDS without the need for any other factors, has so distorted research and treatment that it may have caused thousands of people to suffer and die." (Sunday times (London) 17 May 1992)

        * Dr. Andrew Herxheimer, Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology, UK Cochrane Centre, Oxford:

                "I think zidovudine [AZT] was never really evaluated properly and that its efficacy has never been proved, but it's toxicity certainly is important. And I think it has killed a lot of people. Especially at the high doses. I personally think it not worth using alone or in combination at all." (Continuum Oct. 2000)

        * Dr. Etienne de Harven, Emeritus Professor of Pathology, at the University of Toronto:

                "Dominated by the media, by special pressure groups and by the interests of several pharmaceutical companies, the AIDS establishment efforts to control the disease lost contact with open-minded, peer-reviewed medical science since the unproven HIV/AIDS hypothesis received 100% of the research funds while all other hypotheses were ignored." (Reappraising AIDS Nov./Dec. 1998)

        * Dr. Bernard Forscher, former editor of the U.S. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences:

                "The HIV hypothesis ranks with the 'bad air' theory for malaria and the 'bacterial infection' theory of beriberi and pellagra [caused by nutritional deficiencies]. It is a hoax that became a scam." (Sunday Times (London) 3 April 1994)

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (5, Informative)

c0dedude (587568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555550)

How many peer reviewed journals are cited above? ZERO!
Here's an easy to read summary of the real evidence: http://www.avert.org/evidence.htm [avert.org]
And a more detailed summary: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/evidhiv.htm [nih.gov]

Here are some of the proven, reviewed, science backed theories, quoted from the NIH site above:

"AIDS and HIV infection are invariably linked in time, place and population group."

"Many studies agree that only a single factor, HIV, predicts whether a person will develop AIDS."

"HIV can be detected in virtually everyone with AIDS."

"Newborn infants have no behavioral risk factors for AIDS, yet many children born to HIV-infected mothers have developed AIDS and died."

"The HIV-infected twin develops AIDS while the uninfected twin does not."

These are peer reviewed scientific theories. Anyone can cast doubt on them, but to do so with such little evidence is irresponsible, especially considering the gravity of the disease. No serious journal proposes that AIDS is not caused by HIV.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555833)

Those two links are very convincing. The only thing I don't understand is why no one has done studies with animals. Surely it would be beneficial to try and infect an animal in the lab with HIV. That sort of thing is done all the time in labs when testing medications for other diseases. Why hasn't it been done with HIV so that the AIDS drugs can be tested on those animals? I assume that if such a thing had been done that one of those links would have mentioned it. If no one has tried this then why not? If someone has tried this and failed then it should be mentioned alongside the other evidence. Failing to infect mice with HIV wouldn't prove anything, but it should definitely be mentioned so that readers know that there's a reason for the lack of animal studies.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (2, Insightful)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555888)

The only thing I don't understand is why no one has done studies with animals. Surely it would be beneficial to try and infect an animal in the lab with HIV.



The H in HIV stands for "human".

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556400)


And there are many animal strains of similar diseases. For example, in cats, it's FIV. Check wikipedia.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (0, Flamebait)

bit01 (644603) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556256)

I'm not saying your wrong, but the evidence you've given only proves correlation, not causation.

It could well be that HIV is an opportunistic infection that happens when some unknown virus causes AIDS. Or that HIV works in tandem with another virus to cause AIDS.

At one stage there were some cases of HIV not leading to AIDS that have not been explained, though I don't know if that's still true.

Given the medical establishment's very poor record on comparatively simple diseases like stomach ulcers (helicobacter pylori) I am inclined to be very wary of evidence from studies funded by drug companies with a major financial interest in perpetual treatments, not cures.

---

Open source software is everything that closed source software is. Plus the source is available.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556326)

It could well be that HIV is an opportunistic infection that happens when some unknown virus causes AIDS.

If this were the case, shouldn't HIV be detectable in an individual at the same time as other symptoms of AIDS occur, not years before this point, when the individuals immune system is still effective ?

Or that HIV works in tandem with another virus to cause AIDS.



A mystery virus that has escaped detection so far ?

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (0)

Essef (12025) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556391)

"HIV can be detected in virtually everyone with AIDS."

Actually HIV is detected in EVERYONE with AIDS. This is because by definition
you have AIDS if HIV is detected in your system.
If you're dying from an immuno-deficiency and HIV is not detected, you are diagnosed as not having AIDS!

--
"My mind plays tricks on my all the time 'cause it's way smarter then me"
      - Ricky - Trailer Park Boys.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14556419)

Not so fast. The HIV=AIDS myth is likely the greatest blunder in scientific history. Here is the full text of the NIH document you refer to (which is anonymous and NOT peer reviewed) along with the dissident refutation of each point (with references). Also, do some reading at http://virusmyth.net/ [virusmyth.net] and then comment. (the text below can be also seen at http://www.healtoronto.com/nih/ [healtoronto.com] with diagrams and charts) "The Evidence That HIV Causes AIDS", is a document that was created by the Office of Communications and Public Liaison of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/National Institutes of Health (NIAID/NIH): www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/evidhiv.htm (November 1994, updated on November 29, 2000). It is the most comprehensive document we know of to attempt to answer the many arguments that HIV does not cause AIDS. In the following rebuttal we argue that the NIAID/NIH document is seriously flawed for both failing to respect the standards of scientific discourse and failing to provide credible evidence to support its fundamental claims. Science is normally advanced through publications that: are signed by its authors; include a comprehensive list of citations; include contact information for at least one author; are modifiable only through additional publications (including errata); are open to rebuttal through published letters in the same journal; are peer reviewed; rely largely upon other peer-reviewed literature to back up their assumptions. The NIAID web page has none of these characteristics. On the contrary: it is anonymous; citations are restricted to the protagonist case; it changes occasionally without warning or explanation; it has no forum for those who disagree with parts of it to respond; it gives no information about the review process, if any, used to validate it; prejudges the issue by labelling the dissident case as "myth" and the protagonist case as "fact"; fails to detail the dissident case in the same details as the protagonist case. This rebuttal limits itself to revealing the fallacy of the key assertions made in the NIAID/NIH document: (A) that "HIV fulfills Koch's postulates as the cause of AIDS"; (B) that "modern culture techniques have allowed the isolation of HIV in virtually all AIDS patients, as well as in almost all HIV-seropositive individuals" and that a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been clearly identified; (C) that so-called HIV antibody tests, when positive, indicate specific "antibodies that indicate HIV infection." That is, such antibodies are caused by HIV infection and nothing else. Here we present evidence that all the various "HIV tests" (antibody, antigen, PCR (viral load) or by "modern culture techniques") have never been validated by the only possible standard of viral purification, nor has a unique AIDS-causing retrovirus ever been properly identified. Without the unequivocal gold standard of viral purification all the correlations put forward in the NIAID/NIH document as evidence that HIV causes AIDS have no solid foundation. A point of clarification: This rebuttal draws largely on two major critics of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis: Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al. (known as the "Perth Group") and Peter Duesberg. On one essential point they hold fundamentally opposing views; Peter Duesberg accepts the isolation of HIV and the antibody tests as proof of infection (albeit with a harmless passenger virus) while the Perth Group does not. Readers might like to read The Last Debate (1999) which the Perth Group wrote to compare and contrast their views to those of Peter Duesberg. You can find Duesberg's defence of his position here. A/ CLAIMS THAT KOCH'S POSTULATES HAVE BEEN FULFILLED NIAID: "HIV fulfills Koch's postulates as the cause of AIDS." The following is a short summary showing how HIV fails Koch's Postulates: EPIDEMIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: Koch's Postulate #1. The microorganism must be found in all cases of the disease (NIAID/NIH). NIAID: "...virtually all AIDS patients are HIV-seropositive; that is they carry antibodies that indicate HIV infection." The assumption that a positive "HIV antibody" test indicates active HIV infection in every case is not supported by the scientific evidence. Also, the supposed correlation between a positive HIV antibody test and AIDS is extremely weak, based on circular logic and has been flawed from the very beginning. On April 23, 1984 Dr. Robert Gallo filed a patent application for an antibody test, now generally referred to as the "AIDS test". The same day Gallo announced at an international press conference that he had discovered a new retrovirus that he called HTLV-III (now known as HIV), and that it was "the probable cause of AIDS". This announcement caught even the scientists in the audience by surprise. Gallo had circumvented an essential part of the scientific process; he had not published his research findings in any scientific or medical journal or subjected them to the normal process of peer review prior to being announced to the public. When Gallo's "evidence" was finally published weeks later there were some serious problems. The laboratory procedure Gallo and his colleagues considered to prove isolation was positive in only 36% of his AIDS patients and only 88% were positive on the "HIV-antibody" test. Also, in order to ensure that only the AIDS patients and not the healthy control group came up positive on his antibody test, he had to dilute the blood an extraordinary 500-fold. At lesser dilutions too many healthy controls would also test positive. These facts alone should have been enough to cast serious doubt on Gallo's claim that he had discovered a new retrovirus or the "probable cause of AIDS" (Gallo, 1984; Papadopulos-Eleopulos, 1993a; Koliadin, 1998). An excellent summary of how corrupt, deceitful (and possibly even criminal) his research was can be found in the book Science Fictions by John Crewdson, a Chicago Tribune science writer (Crewdson, 2002) There are tens of thousands of people who have been reported with AIDS to the CDC's HIV/AIDS Surveillance "without laboratory evidence regarding HIV infection": Upon request, the CDC's director of the HIV/AIDS division, Harold Jaffe, stated that the HIV status of 43,606 out of the 253,448 American AIDS cases recorded by the end of 1992 was "not tested" (per. com., 1993). However this figure seems to be an understatement. Obviously, all 10,360 American AIDS cases diagnosed before the HIV antibody test, i.e., before 1985, were not tested (HIV/AIDS Surveillance, February 1993). In addition, the CDC published that "Approximately one third of AIDS patients in the United States have been from New York and San Francisco, where, since 1985, 7% have been reported with HIV-antibody test results, compared with 60% in other areas" (Confronting AIDS-Update 1988). Thus, between 1985 and 1987, 58% (93% x 1/3 + 40% x 2/3) of the 56,807 AIDS cases recorded in that period, or 32,948, have not been tested. For 1988, the CDC reported that 27% or 9,039 of the 33,480 AIDS cases recorded for that year were not tested for HIV (Selik, R. M., et al., 1990, J. AIDS 3, 73-82). According to the CDC's Technical Information Activity, 3682 AIDS cases without an HIV-test were recorded in 1989, 2888 in 1990, 1960 in 1991, and 1395 in 1992 (per. com., 1993). Thus, at least 62,272, or 18,666 more than Jaffe reports, were not tested (Duesberg, 1993). There are thousands of people who have been diagnosed with AIDS even though they were found to be HIV negative on the antibody tests: Determination of the HIV-AIDS correlation is further obscured because HIV-free AIDS cases are not recorded in the CDC's HIV/AIDS Surveillance. By 1993, at least 4621 HIV-free AIDS cases had been documented in the U.S., Europe, and Africa with the clinical AIDS definition . [...] Some of these proved to be HIV-free even by PCR amplification of viral RNA and DNA (Duesberg, 1993). In addition, HIV antibody tests are rarely used in Africa and other poor nations where the majority of people with AIDS supposedly reside, so there is no way of knowing how many test positive on the HIV antibody tests. In these parts of the world AIDS case definitions like the Abidjan/WHO, Bangui/WHO (clinical), Caracas/PAHO and revised Caracas/PAHO leave the door wide open for AIDS surveillance "without laboratory evidence regarding HIV infection". Surveys indicate that more than half of Africans who qualify for an AIDS diagnosis test HIV-negative: 227 patients with "AIDS": 59% test HIV-negative (Hishida, 1992) 122 patients with "AIDS": 69% test HIV-negative (Brindle, 1993) 913 patients with "AIDS": 71% test HIV-negative (Songok, 1994) Finally, since positive HIV tests are now required in most wealthy nations to diagnose AIDS, even people suffering from one of the 29 "AIDS indicator diseases", with symptoms exactly like those of AIDS, are not diagnosed with AIDS if they have a negative "HIV antibody" test. This creates a ridiculous artificial correlation in which the definition of AIDS requires an HIV positive test, and then the artificial correlation is used to try to show that HIV must be causing AIDS. (Note: Under a few exceptional circumstances the CDC does not require proof of HIV infection e.g.; PCP pneumonia with no other apparent cause.) In summary: If HIV antibody positive = HIV infection, clearly HIV is not found in all cases; and the definition also allows HIV to be absent. so HIV fails Koch's Postulate #1. ISOLATION: Koch's Postulate #2. The pathogen must be isolated from the host and grown in pure culture (NIAID). NIAID: "modern culture techniques have allowed the isolation of HIV in virtually all AIDS patients, as well as in almost all HIV-seropositive individuals..." HIV has never been "isolated from the host and grown in pure culture." Proof of purification requires an electronmicrograph showing [pure] viral particles with the morphology of retroviruses -- and nothing else. Such an electronmicrograph has never been provided for HIV (Papadopulos, 1998b). Attempts to show the purity of so-called HIV isolates have been a complete failure (Gluschankof, 1997; Bess, 1997; De Harven, 1998a). Even Luc Montagnier, regarded as the discoverer of HIV, has admitted that his research team failed to purify a virus. He also said "analysis of the proteins of the virus demands mass production and purification. It is necessary to do that". His team "had not enough particles produced to purify and characterize the viral proteins" (Tahi, 1997). Since viruses and cells are made of proteins and nucleic acids, and especially since there are thousands of proteins and nucleic acids in cells, even if HIV did exist how is it possible to tell which constituents are viral and which are cellular? Attempts to show the purity of so-called HIV isolates have been a complete failure (Gluschankof, 1997; Bess, 1997; De Harven, 1998a). Even Luc Montagnier, regarded as the discoverer of HIV, has admitted that his research team failed to purify a virus. His team "had not enough particles produced to purify and characterize the viral proteins". The word 'isolation' is commonly used in HIV research papers and, to most people, implies that the virus has been purified. Yet, in reality, the term has been degraded to utter meaninglessness because all that is looked for are surrogate markers (e.g. certain enzymes or proteins) which are believed to come from HIV. Not even one single intact viral particle is identified, and none of the surrogate markers that are used are actually specific to HIV (Eleopulos-Papadopulos et al, 1993). The process starts with unpurified extracts of body fluids being added to a culture of cancerous cells along with some stimulating chemicals. After several days or weeks, the culture is usually examined for one of the following signs: the reverse-transcriptase enzyme, the protein 'p24', retrovirus-like particles or proteins that bind with antibodies from AIDS patients. None of these are specific to retroviruses. Cultures are radically changed by being exposed to atmospheric oxygen levels (21%) rather than the 0.5-10% found within the body. It seems that this is just another indication that culture systems are unrepresentative of the real world: Roy S et al. Oxygen sensing by primary cardiac fibroblasts a k key role of p24. Circ Res. 2003; 92. ( Ranki, 1988; Roy; Papadopulos, 1993a). See: Appendix A: The Origin of the "HIV" Proteins The assumption that HIV can be isolated from "virtually all AIDS patients, as well as in almost all HIV-seropositive individuals" will be discussed in greater detail in sections B and C. * See: What "HIV" Researchers Mean by "Isolation" and "Cloning" The first electronmicrographs (EMs) of "purified HIV", published in the March 1997 issue of Virology, disclose "major contaminants". In the example above, note that the arrows labeled 'V' point to the few particles that are "retrovirus-like". The authors of these studies concede that their pictures reveal the vast majority of the material in the density gradient is cellular contamination (Bess el al, 1997). These particles can be dismissed straightaway because of their size; 234nm - over twice the diameter of any known retroviral particle. By contrast, this electronmicrograph of the Friend virus shows, at a magnification of 19500 x, an almost pure population of typical "type C" viruses (not yet called retrovirus in 1965). The arrows point at contaminating debris and microvesicles. The interpretation was that virus purification was satisfactory and that contamination rate was extremely low and proves that retroviral particles can be purified (De Harven, 1965). Figure 1. TRANSMISSION PATHOGENESIS: Koch's Postulate #3. It must reproduce the original disease when introduced into a susceptible host (NIAID). NIAID: "Postulate #3 has been fulfilled in tragic incidents involving three laboratory workers with no other risk factors who have developed AIDS or severe immunosuppression after accidental exposure to concentrated, cloned HIV in the laboratory." Of the three people who supposedly got AIDS from 'purified' or 'concentrated' virus, only one has been discussed in any credible detail in the scientific journals. Duesberg is puzzled why these cases have not been written up in medical journals, as this would have been an opportunity to show that one of Koch's postulates of causation by a microbe has been fulfilled (Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel). There have been no scientific papers written about two of these three people and there have never been any further reports, even though these situations must have occurred no later than 1993 and since then millions of needlestick injuries have occurred. NIAID: "In all three cases, HIV was isolated from the infected individual, sequenced and shown to be the infecting strain of virus." Weiss et al report: In a prospective cohort study of 265 laboratory and affiliated workers, one individual with no recognized risk factors for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection was HIV-1 seropositive at the time of entry into the study. Molecular analyses of two HIV-1 isolates derived in two independent laboratories from a blood sample from this worker showed that the isolates were indistinguishable from a genotypic form of HIV-1 present in the H9/HTLV-IIIB cell line (Weiss. Science 1988, 239(4835):68-71). This sounds impressive, but what does Weiss mean when he claims "the isolates were indistinguishable"? Valendar Turner offers a good analogy: To speak of HIV DNA (i.e.; "molecular analyses") first one needs to prove that a particular sequence is unique and is present (as the RNA equivalent) in Retroviral-like particles proven to be a retrovirus (they aren't a virus until you prove they and they alone are what induce the appearance of more such particles). To proceed without such proof is no different from conducting a paternity suit where there is no proof that the DNA of the alleged father has been taken from the defendant or even a man. What defines the alleged father's DNA is solely that it comes from his body. It's no different with retroviruses. The operative expression is virologica habeas corpus. Amplification, sequencing, hybridization is wondrous stuff and keeps masses of scientists employed but their work is utterly meaningless in terms of a retrovirus if you don't have proof that's where it comes from. To see the basic fallacy underlying these molecular analyses, consider the results of attempts at HIV isolation from a cell line like H9/HTLV-IIIB. Two papers in the leading science journal Virology in March 1997 provide astonishing data on the purification and isolation of HIV (Gluschankof et al, 1997; Bess et al, 1997). For the first time in the history of AIDS, elusive electron microscope images of 'HIV' collected or 'banded' at the official density required for purifying retroviruses, 1.16 gm/ml, were published. The electronmicrographs (EMs) disclosed "major contaminants" in "pure HIV" -- an oxymoron to say the least. The authors of these studies conceded that their pictures reveal the vast majority of the material in the density gradient was cellular contamination. HIV expert Hans Gelderblom, of Berlin's Robert Koch Institute, co-authored the first paper which describes the contamination as "an excess of vesicles" - particles of cellular proteins, that may contain DNA or RNA. In a consecutive paper, a U.S. research team from the AIDS Vaccine Programme in Maryland reveal carefully, "It is unknown how these cellular proteins associate with the virus" and warn, "The presence of microvesicles in purified retroviruses has practical implications". One has to wonder how it could be possible to sequence an "HIV" genome or obtain pure HIV proteins from "isolates" like these. (See Figure 1.) Eleopulos and colleagues summarize the problem: The "HIV RNA" and "HIV DNA" are defined on the basis of length (approximately 10,000 nucleotides) and chemical composition (adenine rich) of all the RNA present in cultures of tissues of AIDS patients, NOT on the basis of RNA extracted from a particle first isolated and then proven to be a retrovirus. In 1990 the HIV genome was said to consist of ten genes. This year Montagnier reported that HIV possesses eight genes and according to Barré-Sinoussi, HIV has nine genes. Neither is there constancy of the number of nucleotides in the "HIV genome". Also, to date, only 11 full length "HIV genomes" have been sequenced and accordingly, HIV genotype consignments are derived from sequence analysis of subgenomes measuring 2% to 30% of the total. The data is that such "genomes" vary between 3-40%. (If 30% of the HIV genome varies as much as 40%, how much does 100% of the HIV genome vary? In the HIV Western blot, how can an HIV producing one set of proteins detect antibodies that are produced in response to the set of all other disparate "HIV genomes"? When does "HIV" become some other entity?). Thus, not only are there no two HIV genomes of the same length or nucleotide composition, there is no single genetic entity "HIV DNA" to describe the myriads of "HIV genomes". It is also estimated that patients contain between one and one hundred million distinct HIV DNAs at the one time. Neither is it correct to encompass such DNAs under the umbrella of a quasispecies of "closely related genomes". (Papadopulos-Eleopulos, 1996). NIAID: "In another tragic incident, transmission of HIV from a Florida dentist to six patients has been documented by genetic analyses of virus isolated from both the dentist and the patients." Duesberg summarizes some of the evidence disproving the allegations against Dr. Acer: Based on their own research, insurance companies concluded that the HIV strains in the five patients were different from that in Acer, meaning each caught it from a different source. (116) A study out of Florida State University has backed this conclusion. (117) Even the CDC acknowledged this evidence, though it still preferred to believe the dentist had infected Bergalis. But the CDC's own numbers give away the reality. An estimated 1 million Americans have HIV, in a total population of 250 million. Thus, 1 in 250 Americans have the virus. Five HIV-infected patients of Dr. Acer, out of 1,100 tested, comes to 1 in 220, virtually identical to the national average. [...] These HIV positive patients merely represent random samples from the general population. The CDC's theory that AIDS was transmitted from Dr. Acer to his patient [Kimberly Bergalis] began to crumble in the mainstream press in 1994 when an investigative reporter researched the alleged victims of Dr. Acer. "He found weak evidence, shoddy science, and the work of a very accomplished malpractice attorney." (118) The report first casts doubt on the time course of AIDS transmission from Dr. Acer to his patients. "[Bergalis] developed AIDS just two years after the surgery, and only 1 percent of HIV positive patients develop the full-blown disease that quickly." (119) The investigation disclosed that one of the six other patients that Acer presumably infected had visited the dentist's office only once for a cleaning by a hygienist, not by Acer himself. (120) The report further calls into question the exclusive reliance of the CDC and the malpractice attorney of the "Acer six" on the DNA fingerprinting technique to match Acer's virus with those of his patients. [...] Several experts have directly challenged the DNA fingerprinting that linked Acer to his patients, claiming that instead Bergalis's virus matched other HIV strains much more closely. (121) In view of this, a writer in the New York Times commented, "The CDC owes it to the public to reopen [Acer's] case." (122) (Duesberg, 1996) Not one paramedic, emergency medical technician or surgeon in the U.S. has contracted AIDS from on-the-job exposure (CDC, 2000). Out of 733,374 total U.S. AIDS cases through 1999, only 25 are thought to be occupationally acquired, based on presumptive evidence -- meaning they admitted no other risk factor (CDC, 2000). In Canada, out of 17,389 AIDS cases through 2000, only 5 are reported as occupationally acquired (PPHB, 2001). Only one case has been documented, and the evidence was weak and circumstantial (CCDR, 1992). Consider that the 1 million needle-stick injuries among health care workers in the U.S. each year result in about 1,000 cases of hepatitis among health care workers annually. That means that in the 18 years of AIDS, health care workers contracted 18,000 cases of hepatitis and 25 cases of AIDS. Pretty strange if HIV is a blood-borne virus! B/ CLAIMS THAT HIV ISOLATION HAS BEEN ACHIEVED NIAID: "HIV can be detected in virtually everyone with AIDS." "Recently developed sensitive testing methods, including the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and improved culture techniques, have enabled researchers to find HIV in patients with AIDS with few exceptions. HIV has been repeatedly isolated from the blood, semen and vaginal secretions of patients with AIDS, findings consistent with the epidemiologic data demonstrating AIDS transmission via sexual activity and contact with infected blood (Bartlett, 1999; Hammer et al. J Clin Microbiol 1993;31:2557; Jackson et al. J Clin Microbiol 1990;28:16)." New testing techniques cannot both be validated against existing antibody tests and used to support current tests. They must, instead, be independently validated using the only technique that unambiguously detects HIV - virus purification. In a letter to the editor of the British Medical Journal, Eleopulos et al simply states the problem and invites speculation as to how all those "extra" Africans become HIV positive: EDITOR - According to Lamptey, in Africa slightly more than 80% of infections are acquired heterosexually.1 The high rates of heterosexual infection in Africa have been generated by actuarial models and antenatal data.2 These high rates are not supported by data originating from prospective epidemiological studies. In 1997 Padian et al published the results of a 10 year study on heterosexual transmission of HIV in northern California.3 The data were divided into two parts, cross sectional and prospective. From the cross sectional study it was estimated that infectivity for male to female transmission is low, approximately 0.0009 per contact, and approximately eight times more efficient than female to male transmission. Using this estimate of male to female transmission, it would take 770 or 3333 sexual contacts respectively to reach a 50% or 95% probability of becoming infected. If sexual contact were to take place repeatedly every three days this would require a period of 6.3 and 27.4 years respectively. Based on the estimate of female to male transmission by Padian et al it would require 6200 and 27 000 contacts and a period of 51 and 222 years, respectively (table). Numbers of years to attain 50% and 95% probability of transmission of HIV in United States and Uganda assuming sexual contact once every three days Probability per contact No of years for 50% probability No of years for 95% probability United States Male to female 0.0009 6.3 27.4 Female to male 0.0001125 51 222 Uganda Male to female 0.0009 6.3 27.4 Female to male 0.0013 4.4 19.5 In 2001 a community based study was reported from Uganda, where 174 monogamous couples, in which one partner was HIV-1 positive, were retrospectively identified from a population cohort involving 15 127 people.4 The probability of transmission per sexual contact was 0.0009 for male to female and 0.0013 for female to male respectively (table). The authors concluded that the probability of HIV transmission per sex act in Uganda is comparable to that in other populations, suggesting that infectivity of HIV subtypes cannot explain the explosive epidemic in Africa (R H Gray et al, eighth conference on retroviruses and opportunistic infections, Chicago 2001). In other words, there is no more heterosexual transmission of HIV in Africa than anywhere else, including Britain, the United States, Australia, and Europe. (Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al, 2002) "Recent data has challenged the whole notion that the majority of HIV infections in Africa are heterosexual." (Brewer DD, 2003; Gisselquist D et al, 2002; Gisselquist D et al, 2003a; Gisselquist D et al. 2003b) The statement quoted above from the NIAID document cites three references to support its claim that newer tests have allowed HIV to be 'repeatedly isolated' from people diagnosed with AIDS. When these three references are examined, however, one finds that they actually point out many inconsistencies and problems with the tests currently being used, and in some cases these uncertainties are openly admitted. This is a perfect example of the paucity of evidence and misleading references put forward by the NIAID/NIH in support of their claims. Following is a brief analysis of how the three references for the above NIAID/NIH statement are inadequate and misleading: Bartlett, 1999; 2001-2002 Medical Management of HIV Infection by John G. Bartlett, M.D. and Joel E. Gallant, M.D., M.P.H. Copyright © 1997-2002 The Johns Hopkins University on behalf of its Division of Infectious Diseases and AIDS Service. "Production of the 2001-2002 edition of Medical Management of HIV Infection has been underwritten by an unrestricted educational grant form GlaxoSmithKline, Inc." The relevant section reads as follows: Viral Detection: Other methods to establish HIV infection include techniques to detect HIV antigen, DNA, or RNA (Table 2-1). HIV-1 DNA PCR is the most sensitive and can detect 1-10 copies of HIV proviral DNA. None of these tests is considered superior to routine serology in terms of accuracy, but some may be useful in patients with confusing serologic test results, when there is a need to clarify indeterminate test results, for virologic monitoring in therapeutic trials, and for HIV detection when routine serologic tests are likely to be misleading such as in patients with agammaglobulinemia, acute retroviral infection, neonatal HIV infection, and patients in the window following viral exposure. In most cases, confirmation of positive serology is accomplished simply by repeat serology. The sensitivity of tests for detection of HIV varies with the stage of disease and test technique, but is usually reported at >99% for DNA-PCR, 90% to 95% for quantitative HIV-RNA, 95% to 100% for viral culture of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), and 8% to 32% for p24 antigen detection (J Clin Microbiol 1993;31:2557; N Engl J Med 1989;321:1621; J AIDS 1990;3:1059; J Infect Dis 1994;170:553; Ann Intern Med 1996;124:803). None of these tests should replace serology to circumvent the informed consent process. None of this sounds like evidence that there are valid tests for detecting HIV that could be considered a gold standard for "routine serology", that is, HIV antibody tests. It is clear that antibody tests do not prove presence of a virus. DNA, RNA and protein antigens are contingent upon proof they are extracted from pure culture of virus. A foot note at the bottom of the page of the internet version of this publication states: "Physicians and other health care professionals are encouraged to consult other sources and confirm the information contained in this site ...." So perhaps we had best move on. Hammer et al. J Clin Microbiol 1993;31:2557. Use of virologic assays for detection of human immunodeficiency virus in clinical trials: recommendations of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group Virology Committee. This is a set of guidelines or tutorial similar to the Medical Management of HIV Infection. Rather than providing evidence that "HIV can be detected in virtually everyone with AIDS", it strongly suggests the opposite. In the section on Viral Isolation two assays are discussed; PBMC culture and plasma culture. Regarding the PBMC culture: (iv) Indicated use: diagnosis. For a specimen to be considered positive by either the quantitative microculture assay or the qualitative macroculture assay, the sample supernatant must contain 30 pg or more of p24 antigen per ml, as determined by the standard p24 EIA. This arbitrary positive value has been determined historically on the basis of average positive values from various kit manufacturers and is unrelated to that used for determining positivity in sera or plasma. In the following discussion of plasma culture Hammer et al. state: Plasma viremia is not apparent in all HIV-positive patients. Infectious virus is rarely detectable in patients with CD4+ cell counts above 500/mm3. As the CD4+ cell count drops, the percentage of patients with detectable plasma viremia will increase. For practical purposes, plasma viremia cultures should only be attempted when CD4+ counts are 200/mm3 and are accompanied by a positive baseline cell culture. See Table 1 in the Piatak paper to get some perspective on how much "plasma viremia will increase."(Piatak, 1993). Hammer et al. also suggest that a DNA PCR assay could be used for diagnosis, but with this qualification: For the diagnosis of HIV-1 infection, two specimens collected at different times must be HIV-1 positive by PCR as defined above. There is still some question at this time regarding confirmation of the PCR positive results by culture. Jackson et al. J Clin Microbiol 1990;28:16. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 detected in all seropositive symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. This paper claims to 'isolate' HIV in 100% of people who had been previously diagnosed HIV-positive using the antibody tests, but there are a number of inconsistencies in its claims. The first major inconsistency is that the vast majority of similar studies have been able to 'isolate' HIV in much less than 100%, and even as low as 20%, of people diagnosed 'HIV-positive', so that using this study as a reference is misleading, at best. Another major inconsistency is that the word 'isolation' is used to describe the detection of surrogate markers which are not specific to HIV, as discussed above. Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al. provide a thorough refutation of this study's conclusions: In their 1990 paper Jackson et al reported that "Between February 1987 and October 1988, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 409 individuals who were antibody positive for HIV-1 by Western (immuno) blot (56 AIDS patients, 88 patients with ARC, and 265 asymptomatic individuals) were cultured". "Using a sensitive technique previously described", the p24 assay noted above, they reported that "HIV-1 can be isolated from 100% (56 of 56) of AIDS patients, 99% (87 of 88) of ARC patients, and 98% (259 of 265) HIV- 1 antibody positive asymptomatic individuals". Not one of "131 HIV- 1 antibody-negative individuals has a positive culture". Using the same p24 assay (Abbott) they tested the serum from 403 out of the 409 individuals. The test was positive in 23/56 (42%) AIDS patients, 31/88 (57%) ARC patients and 44/259 (17%) asymptomatic antibody positive individuals. For unstated reason(s) a positive serum test is considered proof for the detection of "HIV-1 antigen in serum" while the same positive culture test is considered proof for "HIV-1 isolation" from the culture. There are many reasons to question the interpretation of the p24 assay: (a) The p24 assay is an antibody/antigen reaction and is subject to ubiquitous background reactivity. In this context, even if "two serial supernatant samplings with the later sampling showing greater reactivity", even if double or triple, for example, 30 and 60 or 30 and 90, both readings may be nothing else but background readings. Jackson and colleagues' criteria are not even in agreement with those used by Ho et al which are equally as arbitrary [...] Even without a gold standard [i.e.; HIV isolation], the non-specificity of the p24 antigen test is so obvious that it is accepted by no less an authority on HIV testing than Philip Mortimer and his colleagues from the UK Public Health Laboratory Service, "Experience has shown that neither HIV culture nor tests for p24 antigen are of much value in diagnostic testing. They may be insensitive and/or non-specific".(236) [...] Jackson et al's claims are not even confirmed by other laboratories. According to Jackson et al, up until 1990 only three small studies reported "100% isolation rates of HIV-1 from AIDS patients". In all the other studies, "HIV-1 was not isolated from 6 to 50% of HIV-1 seropositive AIDS cases reported. The culture recovery rate of HIV-1 from HIV-1 antibody positive asymptomatic patients has generally been even lower, only 20 to 42% in some studies".(Papadopulos-Eleopulos, 1996) An example of a study with typically low rates of viral 'isolation', was published by Piatak, et al.(1993). This study not only found that many people diagnosed HIV-positive using antibody tests had no 'culturable' virus, but also found that only 53% of people with measurable 'viral loads' had positive viral cultures. See Table 1 (Piatak, 1993). Table 1. [detail] [full table] "Plasma virus levels determined by QC-PCR correlated with, but exceeded by an average of 60,000-fold, virus titers measured by endpoint dilution culture." (Piatak et al.) In the table above from Piatak et al.(1993) the column entitled "HIV RNA" shows the "viral loads" of the individual people listed, while the column entitled "Plasma culture/TCID" shows how much virus they could find using techniques claimed to "culture" the virus - note that most people with viral loads have no culturable virus, even with viral loads in the hundreds of thousands. One patient with CDC Stage IV AIDS had a viral load of 815,000 per ml of blood plasma even though he had no "culturable" virus (not shown in this detail of the table). C/ CLAIMS THAT HIV ANTIBODY TESTS ARE VALID NIAID: "Diagnosis of infection using antibody testing is one of the best-established concepts in medicine. [...]. Current HIV antibody tests have sensitivity and specificity in excess of 98% and are therefore extremely reliable (WHO, 1998; Sloand et al. JAMA 1991;266:2861). "Progress in testing methodology has also enabled detection of viral genetic material, antigens and the virus itself in body fluids and cells. While not widely used for routine testing due to high cost and requirements in laboratory equipment, these direct testing techniques have confirmed the validity of the antibody tests (Jackson et al. J Clin Microbiol 1990;28:16; Busch et al. NEJM 1991;325:1; Silvester et al. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol 1995;8:411; Urassa et al. J Clin Virol 1999;14:25; Nkengasong et al. AIDS 1999;13:109; Samdal et al. Clin Diagn Virol 1996;7:55." As with the claim "HIV can be detected in virtually everyone with AIDS", the anonymous authors have provided spurious references that do not support their assertions. Seven of the eight references have nothing to do with attempting to confirm the validity of the antibody tests. Only the Jackson et al. reference can be considered appropriate, but their conclusions are based on the flawed logic discussed above. See previous discussion of Piatak et al. Even if one were to accept the existence of a unique "HIV" retrovirus with an outer coat composed of unique proteins ('antigens'), this still does not prove that antibody tests are accurate. No antibody test can distinguish between HIV antibodies (if they exist) and cross-reacting non-HIV antibodies unless the specificity of the test is established by comparing the presence of antibody reactivity (a 'positive' test result) when virus purification is successful, and the absence of antibody reactivity when virus purification fails. No data in the scientific literature has reported this essential verification. HIV antibody tests are therefore not grounded in reality, and may be meaningless. The same applies to "viral load" (PCR) tests: If you have to use PCR to find something, that automatically means that what you find has no pathological relevance. Piatak, et al.(1993) were able to successfully "isolate" virus from only 53% of people with measurable viral loads. See Table 1 (Piatak, 1993). Thus the diagnosis "HIV-positive" is of questionable scientific value and needs to be reappraised. Eleopulos el al remind us of this revealing meta-analysis of the sensitivity and specificity of PCR: Researchers from several institutions in the USA performed a meta-analysis of studies published between 1988 and 1994 that evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of PCR (Owens DK, et al. 1996). They "accepted positive results on conventional antibody tests (if they included a confirmatory Western Blot analysis or similar test) or viral cultures as high-quality evidence of infection", that is, as a gold standard. In a search of 17 computer databases, they "identified 5698 titles of potentially relevant articles. After independent review by two readers, 1735 titles were judged to be potentially relevant". Then they "reviewed the associated abstracts and then selected 379 studies published as full articles for further review. Of these 379 articles, 96 met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed". They found that: "Measured performance was extremely variable. When indeterminate PCR results were excluded, sensitivity ranged from 10% to 100% and specificity from 0% to 100%". They concluded "Our investigation produced two main findings. First, the false-positive and false-negative rates of PCR that we determined are too high to warrant a broader role for PCR in either routine screening or in the confirmation of diagnosis of HIV infection. This conclusion is true even for the results reported from more recent, high-quality studies that used commercially available, standardized PCR assays...We did not find evidence that the performance of PCR improved over time" (Papadopulos-Eleopulos E, et al. 2001). Why does there seem to be a correlation between so-called HIV antibodies and AIDS defining illness? Without carefully controlled, unbiased studies to determine the clinical significance of HIV tests, it's hard to know what positive results may or may not indicate. It seems clear that people who fall into the AIDS risk groups and test positive on these antibody tests are more likely to develop the illnesses classified as AIDS - as well as diseases which are not classified as AIDS. The so-called AIDS diseases occur principally in people with a history of repeated exposure to foreign proteins and /or toxins: multiple STDs and other viral, bacterial and parasitic infections; various pathogens via injecting contaminated street drugs; recreational and pharmaceutical drugs; commercially-made clotting factor and blood transfusions. They may also occur in the chronically malnourished due to their weakened immune systems and subsequent exposure to more pathogens. These exposures to various pathogens, foreign proteins and toxins may elicit enough antibodies to register on the non-specific HIV antibody tests. Such a high level of antibody activity is not usually found among healthy people who are not in any AIDS risk group. Papadopulos-Eleopulos points out that it is practically impossible to obtain clear data on this issue: In other words, follow people with a positive test over a period of years and see who developed AIDS and who did not. The trouble is it would be very difficult for most people knowing they are HIV positive, as well as their physicians, not to believe that sooner or later they're going to get very sick and eventually die of AIDS. And that mindset may greatly effect the results of such an experiment. (Johnson, 1997) The "modern culture techniques" and the various indirect markers that HIV researchers regard as the equivalent of HIV isolation were discussed in detail above. Here it is worth noting that Eleopulos et al. argue that the various markers thought to indicate HIV infection can only be detected when cultures derived from the patients' tissue are subjected to extreme biological and chemical stress. Known as oxidative stress, these conditions are comparable to what happens in our bodies when exposed to the long list of stressors described above. This kind of oxidative stress may cause the conditions that then cause the HIV test to react positive, as well as increasing the risk of a person developing AIDS-like illnesses (Papadopulos-Eleopulos. 1992; Giraldo RA.). See: Appendix B: The correlation between "HIV" antibodies and AIDS diseases There are no simple answers to the mystery of AIDS. The illnesses do exist, even though they probably do not have a single cause. The HIV antibody tests may not indicate the presence of a virus, but people who come down with AIDS-like diseases are more likely to test positive. It is likely that an association between the diseases and the antibodies is due to a number of health risk factors. In Western countries, the biggest factor in illness appears to have been drug use, whether injected, ingested or inhaled, with different patterns of use leading to different diseases. In Third World countries, malnutrition can lead to a wasting condition that meets the Bangui definition of AIDS. Antiviral drugs are highly toxic, and can also lead to many of the diseases defined as 'AIDS'. Addressing known health risks is often much safer, cheaper and more effective than placing millions of people on lifelong pharmaceutical therapy. (Duesberg, P, Rasnick, D.) Many HIV antibody positive people - some diagnosed over 17 years ago - remain healthy without HIV drugs and have never developed AIDS. For many people, being diagnosed HIV positive may have no bearing on their probability of living a long, healthy life. Clearly, testing positive on such a non-specific test does not always mean that one is in danger of acquiring immune deficiency. On the other hand, the idea of "HIV positive" has taken on devastating significance in the popular consciousness. The patients' health - physical and psychological - may be seriously compromised by an "HIV positive" diagnosis. Their physicians may feel compelled to offer treatments, even in the absence of clinical symptoms, with drugs well documented for their toxic effects. To confound things further, many of the toxic effects are indistinguishable from symptoms of AIDS (DeSimone, 2000). Alive and Well founder and spokesperson Christine Maggiore recently summarized her perception off the human toll of the failed HIV/AIDS hypothesis: Whenever I speak in public someone invariably asks, "If HIV doesn't cause AIDS, why do a lot of people who test HIV positive get sick and die?" I think a better question is: How does anyone who tests positive remain well? Between the initial devastation of the diagnosis, the subsequent social isolation, dire predictions by doctors, lab tests measuring out our remaining time, medical care that assumes our inevitable early demise, AIDS organizations poised to usher us into death, negative expectations of friends, family and the public, constant media reports on the incurable fatal virus, pressure to consume toxic drugs, to regard ourselves as infected, abnormal, and ill, pitches to sell off our life insurance, exchange work for disability, and get a handicapped parking pass, and official orders to keep a safe, latex-covered distance from people we love, I wonder how so many of us manage to live. Appendix A: The Origin of the "HIV" Proteins Appendix B: The correlation between "HIV" antibodies and AIDS diseases Review Papers in the Medical Journals Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al. Is a Positive Western Blot Proof of HIV Infection? Bio/Technology Vol. 11 June 1993. Has Gallo Proven the Role of HIV in AIDS? Emergency Medicine 1993;5:5-147. AIDS in Africa: Distinguishing Fact and Fiction. World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology (1995) 11, 135-143. HIV Antibodies: Further Questions and a Plea for Clarification. Current Medical Research and Opinion Vol. 13: 627-634, 1997. HIV Antibody Tests and Viral Load -- More Unanswered Questions and a Further Plea for Clarification. Current Medical Research and Opinion Vol. 14: 185-186, 1998. Etienne de Harven Viral Etiology of Human Cancer: A historical perspective. Haematologica Journal of Hematology volume 84 - number 5 - May 1999 Peter Duesberg Human Immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome: Correlation but not causation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol.86, pp. 755-764, 1989 AIDS epidemiology: Inconsistencies with human immunodeficiency virus and with infectious disease. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 88, pp. 1575-1579, 1991 Peter Duesberg & Jody R. Schwartz Latent Viruses and Mutated Oncogenes: No Evidence for Pathogenicity. Progress in Nucleic Acid Research and Molecular Biology 43:135-204, 1992 Peter Duesberg & David Rasnick The AIDS dilemma: drug diseases blamed on a passenger virus. (pdf version) Genetica 104: 85-132, 1998

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14556542)

That's nice and all, except for the fact that now we've isolated HIV virus and even photographed it (so to speak). That seems to be over half of their argument right there: "HIV doesn't exist because nobody has ever seen it"

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (1)

kg4czo (516374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555553)

ummm... I'm looking at a bunch of quotes that are 8 years old or older. The relationship between HIV and AIDS has been demonstrated in a minor amount of cases (see here [nih.gov] .

Some people never show symptoms of HIV infection, some develop full blown AIDS and die shortly after. But, the few cases that do tie HIV and AIDS together have pretty much convinced many scientists that HIV and AIDS have some sort of real link.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (1)

Hammer (14284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555555)

Most of the quoted statements are more than 10 years old. None is less than 5 years old.

I'd say that it is a fairly safe assumption that HIV is one of the most important factors in AIDS. Maybe not the only one though.

Saying that HIV does not cause HIV is borderline criminal.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (2, Interesting)

ebrandsberg (75344) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555561)

May I point out that none of these is newer than 2000? There can be two reasons though:

1) Anybody making any argument against this simply gets ridiculed out of the medical field
2) Nobody is convinced that HIV doesn't cause it.

The scary part is that there is/was a fair amount of evidence that HIV may not the sole cause of AIDS, as in many countries, the determination of who had AIDS wasn't based on the presense of HIV, but of the immune effects itself. There could be many other causes of "AIDS" as determined by symptoms, and if the international medical community isn't paying attention to this, we could be curing the wrong thing for a vast majority of people.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (1)

anum (799950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556141)

"The scary part is that there is/was a fair amount of evidence that HIV may not the sole cause of AIDS, as in many countries, the determination of who had AIDS wasn't based on the presense of HIV, but of the immune effects itself. "

I think you may have reversed cause and effect here. In many countries it is difficult to test each person for HIV so they go off the symptoms instead. Unfortunately, AIDS can manifest in many ways some of which look just like other diseases. If there is any incentive (not saying there is, I just don't know) then yellow fever or malaria can easily be interpreted as AIDS from just the symptoms.

As tests get cheaper and easier true numbers of HIV will tell us if this sort of misdiagnosis of AIDS is common or not.

Bullshit (5, Informative)

Stickerboy (61554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555643)

Look, all these guys have at one time or another been respectable, but the truth is, HIV is a well-characterized virus with dumptrucks full of money poured into research into how and why it works.

The fact that I can pick out one name, Harvey Bialy, google him and find out he's currently on South Africa's payroll (who deny pregnant mothers with AIDS AZT or other basic anti-HIV drugs, btw) says volumes.

HIV's genome has been sequenced and studied, and scientists know in general how it works. Instead of copying and pasting one of my microbiology textbooks, I'd suggest looking up the "HIV" Wikipedia entry - it's got a good summary of the parts listed. You might try the "AIDS reappraisal" entry, where all the bullshit claims are addressed.

Have you taken a look at what all those "respected scientists" are actually saying? It sounds a lot like the utter crap being spewed by the "respectable scientists" employed by the Creationism... er, I mean the Intelligent Design idiots. "There's problems... there's questions..." Not a single decent counter-hypothesis as to the origin of AIDS or why the volumes of peer-reviewed AIDS research is WRONG.

If they were truly so adamant that HIV did not cause AIDS, there would be a simple way to prove it once and for all: they should all get together and perform a witnessed scientific study whereby they all inject a reasonably large dose of HIV virus into their bloodstreams and monitor the results. Dr. Barry Marshall, in fact, won a Nobel Prize for proving that H. pylori causes GI ulcers by doing just that.

Now to answer your original claims, that some people with HIV do not get AIDS and some people with AIDS do not have HIV, both of them have answers (the Wikipedia page, in fact, covers the 1st one). Some people have genetic mutations to coreceptors that HIV needs to infect CD4+ T-cells (CCR5 and CXCR4 being the 2 most common). Those mutations render the virus unable to infect the cells without further mutation of the virus. This is, in fact, a huge avenue of biomedical research - my medical school is participating in toxicology trials for a proposed drug using this.

The other claim, that some patients with AIDS do not have HIV is a very rare autoimmune condition. Through molecular mimicry or another similar means, a patient's CD4+ immune cells are targeted for destruction by the patient's own immune system, which leads to the loss of those cells and the development of AIDS. Nobody knows why yet (this is VERY rare), but it probably is caused by cross-reaction with similar antigens from a foreign source (bacteria, virus, fungal, etc.). The body has a bad propensity to attack itself - look up rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Goodpasture's, Hashimoto's, or late-stage Lyme Disease among others.

Very Informative - MOD parent up (0, Offtopic)

Macka (9388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555689)


I never seem to have my mod points when I want them most.

dumptrucks full of money? (2, Interesting)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556061)

Speaking of dumptrucks full of money, I still don't understand why are so many resourses being poured into HIV/AIDS research? I would think all that money could go into educating people and focusing on prevention. AIDS seems to be a completely preventable disease -- all that needs to change is sexual behavior and blood transfusion methods. It is not a disease that someone gets from shaking hands or riding on a bus with others, or eating contaminated food, not even by being bitten by insects. In other words the individuals, except in very rare circumstances have control whether will get HIV/AIDS or not. I understand that the infants born with it have no choice -- but the mothers do. Educating the children or the mothers could help stop the spread.

The point is not that AIDS research should be completely stopped but that it should be proportional to how contageous it is and how much the individuals can prevent it. It seems that research should be more focused on Avian Flu, SARS, Malaria and such.

I would also argue that cancer and heart disease to a certain degree is preventable, if the invididuals care enough to lead a healthy life-style, but with these two it is not as clear cut and there might be a strong genetic component to them but there isn't a one-time event of infection that can be obviously avoided.

To put it another way, if I smoke, eat fried fatty foods and have sex with anyone without protection, knowing what that will do to me -- why should I be shocked if I get cancer, AIDS or die of a heart disease. And why should researchers spend years on end and millions of tax money to save my sorry ass if I clearly made my choice?

Re:dumptrucks full of money? (1)

Kesh (65890) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556240)

I would think all that money could go into educating people and focusing on prevention. AIDS seems to be a completely preventable disease -- all that needs to change is sexual behavior and blood transfusion methods.

Let's be honest here: while prevention is a laudable method, do you really think a public awareness program is going to much of an impact on human sexual behavior? Yes, we need better blood transfusion safeguards, but we damn well better work on a cure/innoculation for it, because people are going to have casual sex.

Re:dumptrucks full of money? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556328)

When you have people believing that AIDS is a curse by the gods that can only be remedied by raping ten virgins, yes, prevention is going to be a huge deal.

Re:dumptrucks full of money? (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556467)

Well, it works for me: I will not have sex with a stranger now that I know about HIV/AIDS and all those STDs! Most people that I know would probably do likewise. The thing is that people don't need to have sex, they want to have sex. The good thing is, they can still have sex but they just need to know to protect themselves. Why should my tax money pay for someone who can't keep it in their pants and doesn't want to be bothered with a condom, and then gets AIDS. Most often than not AIDS is a choice (albeit, an indirect one) not an accident. When someone says -- 'I will have unprotected sex with stragners and I don't care what happens', they might as well sign a medical insurance waver that says 'If I get AIDS, don't waste public money and research time treating me, I wanted this!'. By the way, if there is proof that cancer and heart disease is also mostly environmental, then I would also argue that less money should be funneled into that research as well.

People just need to know about consequences and making choices, that's the point.

Re:dumptrucks full of money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14556246)

So all that's needed is for a people to stop engaging in the activities that evolution has built in numerous drives for them to do? That's gonna work.

If the whole windows virus mess has shown anything it's that educational solutions to infection don't scale. Sure they may prevent individuals from getting infected, maybe even many individuals, but it's useless at the societal level.

As for the other diseases, Malaria excepted, are double digit percentages of the population of some countries currently suffering from these diseases? Or have a relatively tiny number of people died from them?

By the way, sex is not inherently unhealthy. It might be somewhat risky in the current human environment, but that's a different matter, and one we should try to address (by pointing dump trucks full of money at it)

Re:dumptrucks full of money? (1)

scrub76 (637816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556293)

The reason is that sexually transmitted HIV (the most common kind) is not much of a choice for many of the people who get infected. In sub-Saharan African, women and girls make up almost 60% of those living with HIV (www.unaids.org). Adolescent women are particularly vulnerable because they lack the social status and resources to negotiate safe sex with their partners, and most interventions (such as condoms) are overt (requiring knowledge of both partners) and male-focused (yes, there are female condoms, but they are rarely used).

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (5, Informative)

soundofthemoon (623369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555522)

This isn't a new idea, that HIV isn't the cause of AIDS. You get these kind of weird ideas when laymen try to apply "common sense" in place of domain knowledge. HIV is a retrovirus that attacks the immune system, so it has unusual characteristics and effects compared to most other viruses.

A common argument goes that when a person is most sick with AIDS they have a low HIV load, which "doesn't make sense", since in all other viral infections the viral load is high when the infection is acute. However, since HIV destroys the immune cells in which it grows, you can actually see a low viral load as the infection progresses because it has no place left to grow. But by then the immune system is no longer effective at fighting off other infections and the infected person gets very sick.

As for the procedures that were followed, I think researchers have done a very good job at studying HIV and its transmission. However no ethical researcher would intentionally infect a human with a fatal disease, and HIV is specific to humans. SIV (a related virus that infects simians) has also been studied and it's pretty well accepted by now that SIV causes an AIDS-like condition in monkeys, and that HIV is actually the agent that causes AIDS in humans.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (1)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555540)

Here's an article on this. One guy, who supposedly should know his stuff, says that SIV and AIDS are different enough that proving something about SIDS isn't the same as proving something about AIDS.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/761979.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14556411)

I think researchers have done a very good job at studying HIV and its transmission.

Indeed, I have also studied it in dept from the many video fragments available on the web.

The Real Puzzle (1)

Proto23 (931154) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555525)

How come AIDS targets homosexuals in the West, but heterosexuals in Africa?

Re:The Real Puzzle (1)

mrak and swepe (799450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555601)

It doesn't.

The 'S' in AIDS stands for 'syndrome'.

Syndrome: A group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease, psychological disorder, or other abnormal condition.

A group of symptoms is, clearly, unable to target anything or anyone.

Re:The Real Puzzle (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555655)

You assume that it "targets" anybody and you also assume that AIDS is still more prevalent in (western) homosexuals than heterosexuals (something that hasn't been true for 15-20 years, IIRC). You're also taking the African heterosexuals at their word; it would seem that most African countries are even more homophobic than the United States.

Heterosexual, homosexual... if you want to focus on sexual deviation, consider: the disease was first found in primates, and then "somehow" made the species jump. Wrap your head around that.

Re:The Real Puzzle (1)

daverabbitz (468967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555880)

>Heterosexual, homosexual... if you want to focus on sexual deviation, consider: the disease was first found in primates, and then >"somehow" made the species jump. Wrap your head around that.

Duh, just ask any raving loony, havn't you heard "the CIA sprays HIV virus".

This was intended as a joke.
IANARL

Re:The Real Puzzle (0)

Essef (12025) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556536)

How come AIDS targets homosexuals in the West, but heterosexuals in Africa?

... because recreational drug-use amongst homosexuals in the USA induces immuno-deficiency.
... because malnutrition in Africa induces immuno-deficiency.

Once you are immuno-deficient and HIV+, you are diagnosed as having AIDS.

--
"The shit-apple does not fall far from the shit-tree"
    - Mr. Lahey - Trailer Park Boys.

Short answer: Yes. (4, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555577)

Long answer: There have been plenty of studies with Rhesus Monkeys that do indeed show that injecting the HIV virus does cause AIDS. The alternative theory was devised by a French scientist whose name escapes me, but appears to have been motivated more for fame, glory and nationalism than anything. The argument is often repeated, but repeating it doesn't make it valid, it simply makes it heard more often.


With the HIV virus, we know the mechanism by which infection originates, spreads, disables the immune system, etc. There isn't a vast amount we don't know. The HIV virus took a while to isolate and sequence, but when compared to other viruses, it was damn quick.


What we don't know is the history prior to the first recorded case, whether or not a guy in England really DID somehow eliminate the HIV virus from his body (he refuses to get re-tested after he got a negative), why some people do not produce HIV antibodies when exposed to the virus (are they immune, as some claim, or is their immune system just not capable of detecting it?) and how a virus so astronomically unstable can function (one problem with producing a vaccine is that de-activated HIV can re-activate itself, becoming extremely dangerous).


Now, there are indeed cases where medical science seems to have jumped to conclusions. BSE and CJDnv are supposedly caused by prions, but infected brain tissue retains its ability to transfer the deadly agent after being cooked at high temperatures. Also, it is unclear how proteins (a prion is just a protein) can get through the stomach wall AND the blood-brain barrier in order to cause damage.


Even in this case, although there are plenty of skeptics of the prion theory, I know of nobody who is seeking to ridicule the work. Rather, they are pursuing their own lines of enquiry with some measure of dignity. That's how you can tell the good from the great. The merely good will sometimes bolster their egos by proclaiming themselves the One True Word, denouncing everyone else. The great let the results speak for themselves.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (1)

jongi_ct (738355) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555604)

I leave in South Africa where more that 10% of our Population are said to be HIV+. This question was onced asked by our State President Thabo Mbeki,"Does HIV cause AIDS? Can a virus cause a syndrome? How? It can't, because a syndrome is a group of diseases resulting from acquired immune deficiency." He said that the question still unresolved by scientists is: what contribution does HIV make to the collapse of the immune system?
Answer:HIV does not Cause AIDS, according to Mohammed Ali Al-Bayati,President, Toxi-Health International,

1) The HIV-hypothesis is not supported. HIV is a harmless virus in both the in vivo and the in vitro settings. Read more here... http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/eletters/324/7331/2 37 [bmjjournals.com]

jongi

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14555693)

I have a syringe with HIV in it. Would you be willing for me to inject you with it? Or are you confident that AIDS would not result?

Professor Peter Deusberg (5, Interesting)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555610)

The guy's name is professor Peter Duesberg. I did a speech based on his book "Infectious AIDS, Have We Been Misled" 7 years ago when I was in college.

To start out with, Deusberg was a good scientist, making important discoveries regarding oncogenic viruses, and was consequently recipient of the NIH's "Outstanding Investigator" grant. Whether his theory is correct or not, what is certain is that he has been the subject of career assassination for political rather than scientific reasons, for his views in the early days of the AIDS crisis. It was essentially argued that dissent from the HIV=AIDS model would cause confusion and interfere with efforts to prevent the spread of HIV\AIDS. Deusberg's university treated him as a paraiah and his NIH grant was rescinded. Science cannot operate properly if opposing views are silenced for political reasons.

The nobel laureate you refer to is Kerry Mullis. Despite inventing PCR the guy is a self described nut and LSD user. I wouldn't put too much weight in his testimony. Mullis argues that the Viral Load test, based on PCR, is far less precise than it is claimed to be. I don't know if this is true or not.

While I'm not agreeing with Deusberg's hypothesis, like any dissident his criticisms have focused on weaknesses in the HIV-AIDS theory over the years.

Deusberg has made a number of very good points regarding HIV, which are only now starting to be considered. Among them;

HIV is an opportunistic infection. People most often become HIV positive because they engaged in some other activity which damages the immune system such as the use of certain drugs (such as amyl nitrates or injected drugs) or hemopheliacs. Even before the AIDS crisis, hemopheliacs still had a dramatically shortened lifespan and increased suceptibility to disease. Deusberg claims (and I would tend to question, but don't have facts on hand to refute) that the death rate for hemopheliacs does not indicate their being hit by a lethal epidemic during the time of the early AIDS crisis and that their lifespan has steadily increased. The fact that HIV is an opportunistic infection suggested to Duesberg that it could be a marker for another condition or conditions which causes immune suppression. (Hemopheliacs, even without HIV, are immune suppressed.) While Deusberg gives a general notion of an immune system collapsing under excessive strain, it seems that Human Herpes Virus 8, common to AIDS victims, has been shown to also cause immune suppresion. HHV8 is transmissible via saliva and probably acts synergistically with HIV to dramatically speed up the progression of the disease. HHV8 is the virus responsible for Kaposi's Sarcoma, a symptom previously attributed to HIV.

Azidothymidine or AZT, which has been shown to reduce HIV viral load, has side effects that are essentially identical to AIDS including immune suppresion. AZT has never been proven to increase lifespan in a reliable, controlled study. The infamous Concord Study which attempted to prove the benefits of AZT, was hopelessly flawed. Subjects receiving the drug were aware of it and shared their medicine with the control group to help them. AZT was a chemotheraputic agent for cancer which was discontinued due to its severe side effects sometime before the late '60s. It's approval for use against HIV essentially circumvented the normal FDA approval process, due to the crisis of its introduction. It has been argued that AZT prevents seroconversion to HIV positivity and I think it's still used for this purpose.

Finally, unrelated to Deusberg, the CDC seems to be working off an outdated model for the evolution of infectious diseases (Burnette and White's model) which was based on analysis of airborne infection rather than fluid borne infection, which seems subject to different pressures. B&W's theory suggests (incorrectly) that all lethal diseases will, in time, evolve to benign co-existance with their host. This is generally true for airborne diseases. B&W's theory demands that HIV be a virus that was newly introduced from an animal species with which it had developed an essentially benign relationship.

Paul Ewald makes an very persuasive argument that HIV could have been a less lethal virus which was 'ramped up' by the the sexual revolution (antibiotics + contraception = more condom-free promiscuity), drug use, wars, etc.

In other words, say you take a fairly harmless pathogen and inject it into a rabbit. Wait 24 hours. Withdraw some rabbit blood and inject that blood into a new rabbit. Wait 24 hours. Repeat the process. After about 15 rabbits or so, you'll have an incredibly lethal virus. This may be what happened with HIV.

The history of syphilis is a good illustration of this process at work.

One more thing; I have a question regarding HIV for anyone in the field;

If it's true that the virus coat mutates so quickly that our immune system can't effectivly control it, then why is a western blot test (i.e. antibody test) effective in identifying it? I'm sure there's a good answer to this, but i don't know what it is. Thanks to anyone who can answer it!

Re:Professor Peter Deusberg (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14556233)

Where to start ?

First. HIV is NOT an opportunistic infection.

An opportunistic infection is an infection that gets the opportunity because of a weakened condition of the immune system. HIV is an infection that attacts and weakens the immune system, so that it leaves its victim viable to opportunistic infections (such as Herpes, or many diseases that were considered gone and conquerored). AIDS is the
condition of having such a weak immune system because of HIV, and that you die BECAUSE OF opportunistic infections.

Thus: HIV attacks immune system. Patient is uprotected against opportunistic infections. Patient dies.

With respect to antiviral therapy. How do you explain the fact that since the introduction of antiviral therapy in the Western society, morbidity and death rates have gone down drastically, while people that do not receive therapy but are diagnosed with HIV, die (like in Subsaharan Africa ?) at quick rates ?

The truth is, yes, most antiviral drugs have side-effects. In fact, most drugs have side-effects. But these drugs save lifes (in the Western world). Because of advances in drug efficacy and regime potency, most people that start now with therapy and adhere to their drugs and whose HIV as a consequence does not develop antiviral resistance, see
a rebound in their immune system (measured by CD4 cell count) ! Many studies have confirmed that over and over again.

Stop fooling yourself and do something constructive.

Regards,
anonymous HIV researcher.

Re:Professor Peter Deusberg (0)

Essef (12025) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556487)

Thus: HIV attacks immune system. Patient is uprotected against opportunistic infections. Patient dies.

Actually, HIV could be an opportunistic infection, since the test for AIDS is

    a) Whether you are dying from a list of "known" opportunistic diseases
    b) Whether you also have HIV immunity

The truth is, yes, most antiviral drugs have side-effects

I'm sorry, but if one of those side-effects is actually to cause the very disease that it said to prevent then what's the point? Btw, it is a myth that people who take supposed HIV-suppressant drugs like AZT actually live longer. There are plenty of documented cases where people are living with HIV without taking any immuno-suppressant medication.

--

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (2, Interesting)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555614)

The NIH (ahref=http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/evidhiv .htmrel=url2html-6476 [slashdot.org] http://www.niaid.nih.gov/fact sheets/evidhiv.htm>) has a pretty good overview. In short, the "HIV does not cause AIDS" camp sounds pretty flaky. HIV has been isolated and introduced to chimps and shown to cause AIDS in them, for instance.

True, sometimes in science you do have the radicals and visionaries who nobody will listen to, like the continental drift people before seafloor spreading was discovered. On the other hand, you have the dead-enders and lunatic fringe, people who refuse to accept an hypothesis even when confronted with a mountain of evidence. So how do you tell the difference between a minority camp with a legitimate hypothesis, and a minority camp that's completely out to lunch? What I've noticed is that the dead-enders tend to have one thing in common, which is that they have an anti-hypothesis, rather than a hypothesis. They will give you a million reasons why X can't be true, but they can't provide you with a reasonable alternative hypothesis.

For instance, there are still paleontologists who forcefully argue that the Yucatan asteroid/comet impact did not wipe out the dinosaurs... but they can't provide you a decent explanation for what did kill them. There are some ornithologists who refuse to believe that dinosaurs evolved from birds (feathered dinosaur fossils notwithstanding), but they can't tell you what birds did evolve from. Likewise, the Intelligent Design people argue that evolution couldn't cause the diversity of life on earth, but they can't tell you what did. But it's not enough to poke holes in a well-established theory to have it overturned- you've got to provide an alternative that better explains and predicts the facts.

Our understanding of the AIDS epidemic is hardly complete, but without a good alternative hypothesis, these guys sound a lot like lunatic fringe. In general, dissent is healthy, but in this case I think these guys are just spreading dangerous misinformation when millions of lives are on the line.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555628)

Among other things, there was the complaint that some people have HIV, but don't get AIDS. And others have AIDS, but no HIV.

According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] (and some other sources, but Wikipedia was easiest to link to) most people who get infected by Tuberculosis never develop any symptoms, since their immune system keeps the bacteria under control (but is unable to completely destroy it, unfortunately).

And AIDS is a symptom, not a disease in itself. Anything that hinders the immune system could cause it, from genetics to radiation to malnutrition. That HIV is not the only possible cause of such symptoms does not prove that it is not a cause for them.

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555646)

Anything that hinders the immune system could cause it, from genetics



[nitpick]

Immune deficiency caused by genetic factors would not be AIDS, since it is not Acquired, but innate.

[/nitpick]

Re:Does HIV Really Cause Aids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14556027)

it is entirely possible that the immunde systen can be rendered useless without the presence of HIV, it is also possible, due to the nature of how HIV attacks cells, to catch HIV and have your immune system by chance defeat the virus.

now don't think you can go whore it up with no consequences, the chances are worse than winning the lottery or getting hit on the head by airplane parts.

although when one is tested for AIDS/HIV what is tested for is the body's antibodies for that virus. so one who gets the virus and defeats it will still have the antibodies but probably not the virus itself.

but there is no good reason at all to suspect that HIV does not cause AIDS at this point. secondly one can't isolate the virus and infect someone with it to test it because the virus doens't seem to work on animals other than humans. if it did it would be well known and any animal who bit an HIV + person would be immediately destroyed.

that to say the nature of HIV make it unethical to carry out all of the exatcly proper procedures to prove with absolute certainty that HIV cuases aids. tho they have shown that HIV attacks T-Cells. that can be done in a peatrie (sp?) dish.

So now that we've got the 3D model (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14555467)

Does that mean we can start using it in Counterstrike mods?

I've got to admit... (3, Funny)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555680)

I've got to admit obliterating AIDs from the world with only a submachine gun does sound appealing.

All these 'almost there' cures announcements... (5, Interesting)

Rxke (644923) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555475)

I live in Belgium, a country that takes pride in its high quality of education. But just yesterday a survey showed that about 70% of the youth doesn't have a clue how you can contract HIV, and a very high percentage takes no protective measures at all. Staggering numbers for a developed country. One of the people that was involved in organising the survey said this was partly to blame to the false sense of security. Rumors about new cures, tales about how good the HIV treatments work. Youth these days seems to think it isn't that deadly after all, at least not deadly enough to be very wary... Sensibilisation campaigns seemed to be inadequate to change this view.

Re:All these 'almost there' cures announcements... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14555542)

Apperently quality is relative.

Re:All these 'almost there' cures announcements... (5, Insightful)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555605)

It's the same way in the states. I live in NY, which has a relatively high percentage of HIV cases (HIV is very prevalent amongst poor African American and Hispanic communities - with additional stressors of a dense population). A friend teaches teens and told me that one of her students commented that it "wasn't a big deal" and that he'd just take "the pills" if he contracted it. He concluded by saying he wore no protection for sex.

There is a perception that it is a rare, chronic, and treatable disease.

Re:All these 'almost there' cures announcements... (1)

TallMatthew (919136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555695)

There is a perception that it is a rare, chronic, and treatable disease.

It is.
It is.
It is.

HIV spreads through sexual contact, which is what makes it as prevalent as it is, but it's still relatively rare in the general population. If you are exposed to it, you're far less likely to actually gain the infection compared to other blood-borne illnesses like Hepatitis C. And if you are HIV positive, the likelihood of going into full-fledged AIDS is still relatively low, particularly if you take protease inhibitors, which can reduce your viral load to nil.

These people who think that it's not that big a deal, while being incredibly naive and stupid in their assumptions, aren't necessarily wrong. If you care for yourself properly, you can live a full life (though the meds aren't a party).

Re:All these 'almost there' cures announcements... (3, Insightful)

eatjello (767686) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556125)

Not that big of a deal?
Society treats you like a leper. Most people wouldn't shake your hand if you told them you were HIV positive. Many people are so afraid of HIV, they would rather throw away the cutlery you ate dinner with than "take a risk" and wash it, if they invited you to dinner at all.
Intimacy is all but impossible. How many people would knowingly have (protected) sex with an HIV-infected partner? Most people would not dare kiss you if you are HIV positive, much less any other intimate activity. With appropriate protection, it is perfectly safe, but good luck convincing someone of that.
The financial strain is huge. Repressive therapy is quite expensive, and even if the patient is not paying the costs, someone is. The majority of HIV positive patients worldwide can't afford a tenth of the medication they need. Without adequate treatment, these same people will develop AIDS within 10 years of infection, and then the medical bills skyrocket, as even a minor cold calls for hospitalization.
HIV is a slippery target. Every day could be the day that the virus mutates again, and becomes resistant to current therapies. Those who contract this new variant could very well be dead before medicines catch up.

In short: Use protection, every time. That's all it takes. Would you play Russian roulette with a 1000-shot revolver? I hope not. Knowing only 1 in a thousand people dies of AIDS is no comfort when you are that 1.

Re:All these 'almost there' cures announcements... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14556273)

Well, if you've got a disease, what do you expect? Many of your comments apply equally well to influenza or the common cold. And any chronic illness has astronomical medical bills.

Re:All these 'almost there' cures announcements... (2, Insightful)

Ours (596171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556073)

And what really enfuriates me, is that people panic and floc to not-yet-proven (or just plain paranoid) methods to protect themselves against the latest very exotic, very rare decease they heard about on TV...
People run around like headless chickens when a few die of mad cow or whatever but nobody cares about AIDS killing thousands daily.
The latest mediatic decease ends up killing less then you normal flu, or the car, or alcohol.
Fear and ignorance go hand in hand my friends while the real risks are ignored.

Re:All these 'almost there' cures announcements... (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556153)

Good point. That is why I always wonder why so much research time and money is put in to HIV/AIDS. It seems to be a completely preventable disease. Why isn't all that money put into educating people and controlling blood transfusions. If the money must be used for research, why not study the Avian Flu or Malaria -- things that could spread without individuals being able to do much about it.

Re:All these 'almost there' cures announcements... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14556329)

Could it be that money doesn't do all that much to educate people? Marketing doesn't work by educating, education does not (mostly) work better when you (just) throw money at it.

Hmmm. Maybe. (2, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555668)

Most people like reassurance. They go towards the calming, soothing voice of the shephard like all good sheep. (Well, maybe that's a bit harsh. I'm sure there are some rebellious sheep out there.) In other words, people tend to prefer their horrors at a distance. They don't like the idea that THEY might be next.


The survey itself should be examined, though. It is very easy to put in leading questions, especially in a subject area that invites more tales of bravado than facts. It would be good if a more comprehensive survey could be done across Europe, not only looking at risky behaviour, but also looking at limits of knowledge.


eg: One antiviral used to treat AIDS in Africa was banned by the FDA in America as it is extremely toxic and rapidly kills the person taking it. The FDA is also sponsoring the use of the drug in Africa, which got some media attention recently. How many people read those reports? What is the general awareness like of the toxicity of the available treatments?


The problem with AIDS is that it isn't as dramatic as, say, Ebola, or as colourful as the Black Death. Unlike, say, Spanish Flu, the death rates are given in decades rather than days. A year, for a teenager, is forever. The incubation period for HIV is variable but 5 years is not unusual. What's five times eternity?


It's hard to get a handle on how many people are infected, or what their distribution is, but if you were to start with five hundred million, concentrated in areas that have reached one extreme or another, you'd probably be reasonably close.

We are old (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555758)

When I was a kid the dutch tv station Veronica had aired an program about AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. It was explicit and used porn actors to show in full detail how to use condoms. Couple that with movies about people dying, some hardhitting campaigns and it was pretty hard not to grow up being aware that screwing without a condome was bad for you.

Even then an awfull lot of people didn't do the safe sex thing.

It also put a strain on people. Not nice to be constantly reminded as a young male/female that doing what comes natural can kill you. There were ways around it like mutual masturbation replacing intercourse but for many that is just not good enough.

After the sexual freedom of previous decades our generation was definitly handicapped. Sleeping around was not just cheating anymore, you put yourselve and your partner at real risk.

So fast forward to now and those hardhitting campaigns have stopped. Sexually transmitted diseases off all sorts haven't gone away but the urgency has been removed. It just isn't seen as an issue anymore. Can you blame people? Either you live you live in blissfull ignorance OR you have to turn down that easy girl/boy who fucks everyone and remain a virgin until you meet another virgin.

Cause just condoms alone are not good enough, have you ever tried eating a girl with one of those rubber sheets to prevent direct contact? It is not easy I can tell you. I am not 100% certain but I think the female fluids are just as capable of spreading aids as sperm and it is a lot harder to catch them in a rubber.

So given the choice between being fearfull and ignoring the danger most people choose to ignore the danger. It is not just aids. The amount of women who are infertile is sky-rocketing. Sure sure, genetic changes. Eheh. Ask a doctor. Most of the women who have trouble getting pregnant can only blame it as the result of a sexually transmitted disease.

AIDS is a killer but others STD's are far more common and can have very big impacts as well. Going infertile can be a pretty big deal for a woman. Especially if it turns out the female got it from a cheating partner.

But what can we do? Terrorize people into being completly paranoid about sex? People have to rationlize dangers otherwise we would never get out of bed. How many people die each day on the roads because of unsafe driving? That is a real risk wich many of us can see directly as we pass yet another accident scene each day on the way to work. Does that stop us from driving to fast, in crappy cars, while drunk? Nope. Remember, it is not just how you drive but the millions of other road users as well. Sleep around and you are having sex with not just your partner but all the people they had sex with as well. One happy STD chain.

STD's are nasty but they are something we just have to live with for now.As long as people are not so ignorant as to stop funding research I think we can handle it. Just life as usual.

Re:All these 'almost there' cures announcements... (1)

LiTa03 (879539) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556139)

But just yesterday a survey showed that about 70% of the youth doesn't have a clue how you can contract HIV, and a very high percentage takes no protective measures at all.
Same in France... but it used to be different.

I really loved the messages we got back in the late 80s - early 90s. There were no mixed messages back then. After some pretty bad scandals with contaminated blood, the government changed their tune from hope (we'll have a cure within 5 years) to gloom. The message I remember from then was:

If You get the virus, it's only a matter of time before you develop AIDS and die a horrible death.

The corollary was "use condoms, they're safe"... condoms you could purchase from pharmacies for 1 franc (10p? 20c?).
A second corollary was: If you ever wanted to have unprotected sex with your partner, you'd wait 3 months and could go to the clinic to have a free, anonymous test. In those days, a contaminated person could still show negative if contaminated within a 3 months window. Anyway, you'd have a chat with the nurse, she'd tell you all about the risks involved with unprotected sex, re-explain the vectors of contamination (but you did learn that in school too) and would let you off with "even if it's safe to have sex with your partner, there's an element of trust involved for both of you and the only 100% safe-sex practice is to use a condom".

At the same time, there was also a big show of solidarity towards HIV-positive people (I remember of a full mouth kiss on TV between an actress and someone infected... she wanted to remind people that saliva is not a vector). But! When you're HIV positive, eventually you die... Cyril Collard, Freddy Mercury, etc etc etc...

Fast-forward 15 years, kids are having sex younger and younger, they think anal sex is safe, they think a cure will be found, condoms are fucking expensive so people don't use them, and those free HIV tests? You'd be hard pressed to find a free clinic.

In Britain... Well, I'm showing my ignorance here, I have lived here for the past 12 years but have only been to hospital once (that was enough) and to the GP twice (second time was enough). What I hear is that tests aren't anonymous and that your employer is allowed to know if you went for a test (probably not true, but that's what I heard).
Condoms are real expensive here too... So people don't use them or don't know how to use them and they get infected by all sorts of VDs (not only HIV). Britain also has the youngest mothers in Europe!

It's not only France and Britain. If you want to see how bad sexual practices in the devoloped world have become, watch the movie kids (set in NYC).

Re:All these 'almost there' cures announcements... (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556460)

AIDS tests (and for other STDs I believe) are still free and anonymous in France.
A list of places is of course available on the Web : http://www.sida-info-service.org/orienter/depistag e.php4 [sida-info-service.org]

There is currently a big push by nonprofit orgs (nonprofits are an important part of the social and cultural life in France) to restart a full scale campaign instead of the low key background noise we have had those last few years.
Visitors to Paris in the summer will for example invariably be greeted with cheerful posters in the street of groping couples with messages along the lines of "have all the fun you like but remember to wear a rubber".

Apparently this kind of thing doesn't have much effect.

Re:All these 'almost there' cures announcements... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14556367)

Also living in Belgium, I do have some questions about the conducted survey. I searched a little, but I never found how the survey was done and what kind of people did they ask to participate (social diversity?).
It just says: 13.000 people between 15 and 24. Great, I bet there are more idiots in Belgium, so if they dont provide more info it might be possible that those 70% where just plain idiots.
I'm just pointing this out because there are social/intellectual/other seperators in belgium (especially in high school, where there are about 4 levels of segregated schools, according to intelligence - hence also social status), and so the question that needs to be asked is: was the survey well conducted.
If the survey was done among university students, I guess the results would at least be reversed: most people know about aids and how to protect themselves, but that doesn't mean they care and practice safe sex.

The question then remains (as always) : did the participants answered correctly and truthfully. If the survey was done in some schools, you can bet that there were a lot of jackass-classes who just fill in the wrong answers. I mean, the schools are obligated to teach about sexual reproduction and safe sex, so how the hell can these people not know about it?

3d modeling (1)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555479)

So does this mean people can put together 3d structures that interfere with HIV? I'd really like to know more about how a picture of a virus and information on its geometry can help us in viral combat.

can't wait for google to make google hiv so I can fly around on it surface.

Re:3d modeling (3, Informative)

Mortiss (812218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555523)

This image cannot be used for structural modelling of potential inhibitors because its resolution is too low. You need an x-ray crystal structure with Angstrom resolustions to be able to do this (these images have resolution of ~4 nm which is still very impressive for electron microscopy)
However, partial structures of HIV surface proteins (gp120 and gp41) are available but I am not sure if they have been used to model potential inhibitors.
On related note there is a newely FDA licensed inhibitor compound (T20 peptide) that blocks the function of fusion subunit of HIV surface protein (gp41) and it has been developed thanks to the structural information on this protein.

Re:3d modeling (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14555578)

step 1. Publish stereo pictures of HIV
step 2. ...
step 3. Profit

step 4. More funding for AIDS researchers. Same reason NASA publishes those Mars Rover pics and Hubble pseudocolors.

I hope this answers your inquiry as to how a picture of a virus and information on its geometry can help us in viral combat.

Re:3d modeling (2, Insightful)

Mutatis Mutandis (921530) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555915)

The biggest advance of the study is that it illuminates how the maturation process of the virus works.

HIV contains an enzyme, known as HIV protease, with related functionality to the proteases found in "biological" washing powders: It cuts other proteins in pieces. In HIV one of its functions is to cut a protein called gag, which helps the virus to assemble and leave a cell, into two others, known as matrix and capsid. The matrix supports the outer membrane of the virus, while the capsid surrounds the critical part of the virus that enters an infected cells, i.e. its genome and some other enzymes. The gag and matrix proteins form round shapes, but capsid assembles to a conical structure.

This maturation process (probably and mostly) happens after newly made viral particles leave cells, but before they can infect other cells. Apparently, if I understand the paper correctly, the capsid assembles from one end the virus and just stops to grow and seals when it reaches the other end.

Maturation is a potentially interesting drug target. But medical possibilities aside, the gag protein has interesting applications in biotechnology, as it forms a self-assembling nanostructure. You can already get commercially grown gag nanoparticles. The building blocks of HIV are potenial building blocks for the next generation of computers, strange as it may seem...

For those infected (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555492)

The results offer hope for a microbicide that can prevent the spread of HIV, which now affects about 40 million people.

I'm assuming this means that it would help already-infected individuals to contain and/or resist the virus? Personally while it might be a nice addition to existing safeguards (being careful of partners, condoms, etc) I wouldn't exactly trust eating yoghurt to keep me safe from HIV.

Re:For those infected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14555581)

*ahem*. You don't eat the yoghurt.

Re:For those infected (3, Informative)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555713)

No, the idea is a microbicidal cream that will form a barrier against HIV. I must admit to confusion over why this would be such a great breakthrough. It is unlikely to provide better protection than a condom. I guess women could use it where their partners refused to use a condom. Perhaps one idea will be to use it in conjunction with a condom in the way once recommended with nonoxynol-9. Note that creams [hivdent.org] and gels [washingtonpost.com] with similar objectives are already being evaluated (supported by the Gates Foundation and others).

Re:For those infected (2, Insightful)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555922)

One would imagine it's not used in sexual situations at all, but as a preventative measure during medical procedures.

Digg (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14555507)

Dude! Did Digg make it first with this story?

obligatory (4, Funny)

pyros (61399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555518)

Frink: Take an ordinary double-helix ...

Wiggum: Woah! Slow down there egghead.

Is the model available in std 3d formats? (2, Interesting)

waferhead (557795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555566)

Anything one can load in Blender etc?

Tomography (2, Informative)

tchiwam (751440) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555595)

It would be nice to know what methods they used for tomography. With the latest methods it can be possible to get better Tomography resolution than the measurment device has by itself. The geometry of the measurement itself would be great to know too.

Also it is today possible to solve many million unknowns by using stocastic inversion, something that was taking ages and truly huge amount of memory not so long ago, can now be done on a deskside.

For example it is possible to reconstruct the shape of an asteroid using only a single value like light intensity or radio signal intensity over a period of time. That would be like a 1x1 sensor size with multiple projection and arbitrary geometry.

Re:Tomography (1)

cerebis (560975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14556654)

I don't follow the research, but I fully expected this 3D model would be the product of xray crystallography, where we could expect a much higher resolution than that of tomography; down to the sub Angstrom level when you're lucky (very unlikely with virues though).

The reason was, as I am aware of the difficulties of collecting useful xray diffraction data on large assemblies (even when they're broken down into constituent parts), and an awareness of the great deal of funding channeled into HIV research, I really expected they would have collected tomographic data long ago.

Why not use honeypot approach to fighting viruses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14555598)

Create some type of fake T-cell that when the HIV virus bumps into it, it thinks it's a real T-cell and attaches itself and attempts to infect it. Except that it is not the target T-cell, and then it dies. Kind of like a roach motel for HIV.

Re:Why not use honeypot approach to fighting virus (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555731)

I watched a show no TV about HIV. It's not as simple as that. The truth of the matter is, which "people" are afraid to publicize:

The HIV virus mutates too quick for any attempt to find a cure to be effective.

The host then went to show a "3d graph" of the flu mutation strands, as big as a basketball. He then goes, if this is the flu mutation strands per year, per the entire human population, THIS (shows a graph probably 100 times as big as the basketball), is the HIV mutation strands per PERSON, per year.

And that's just per person.

The truth is, yes we have way to battle HIV, but the damn bug fights back so quick that by the time we fought off 1 strand, we already have 100 other mutated strand.

To this date, I've never taken a flu shot.

Re:Why not use honeypot approach to fighting virus (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555863)

whoa, they still do that?

Re:Why not use honeypot approach to fighting virus (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14555783)

Great plan. You make the fake t cells, I'll do the rest.

Hopefully it won't happen, but... (2)

themysteryman73 (771100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555608)

Too bad if, once a cure is released, people stop using protection only to find that the cure has only a 50% success rate or some such.

Damn Brown's: The HIV code. (0, Offtopic)

Proto23 (931154) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555700)

Several pre-release copies of the new book by renowned writer Damn Brown are already uploaded to several hidden peer to peer networks. The publisher together with the RIAA (here's another film in the making) is actively suppressing distribution and persecuting anyone touching the Damn file. Hence we can only provide you with a synopsis. I hope you understand. From: http://www.hypnocrisis.com/index.php?/archives/17- Damn-Browns-The-HIV-code..html [hypnocrisis.com]

I'm sorry if this sounds like a troll, but... (0, Flamebait)

0m3gaMan (745008) | more than 8 years ago | (#14555734)


I'm getting pretty irritated with the amount of money which is continuously poured into AIDS research. There are dozens of other diseases which deserve more attention, NONE of which can be prevented by something as simple as wrapping your pecker, for instance.

What's really scary (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14556406)

is how very similar it is to the Burger King logo

BK logo [bk.com]

HIV [bbc.co.uk]
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