Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2008 02:00 am
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1169824&pageid=0

Controversy remains....

Quote:

The failure of a much sought-after vaccine against the virus has re-ignited an old debate. Mayank Tiwari explores the controversy

The recently reported pessimism among researchers over the failure of an AIDS vaccine has reignited a spectacular science controversy.
Is HIV the cause of AIDS?

Last September, AIDS researchers were dealt a heavy blow when clinical trials of the most promising candidate for an HIV vaccine were stopped after it turned out to be a dud.

The clinical trials showed that the vaccine might have put the people who received it at greater risk of infection rather than preventing HIV or reducing its effect. A survey of top AIDS scientists conducted by The Independent showed most believed a vaccine was nowhere near, with some even believing that effective immunization against HIV may never be possible.

“Nearly a billion dollars is spent globally on AIDS research annually, and yet the sobering reality is that at present there are no promising candidates for an HIV vaccine,” wrote Harvard Medical School’s Bruce Walker in the journal Science, summing up the failure of the expensive effort.

The development has strengthened the position of a vocal minority of scientists who argue that HIV is a harmless passenger virus (found in diseased tissue, but not contributing to the cause of the disease).

This community of scientists includes Peter Duesberg, professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, David Rasnick, a prominent American biochemist, and Nobel laureate Kary Mullis, another American biochemist, and enjoys the support of South African President Thabo Mbeki. They have from the very beginning of the AIDS era—supposed to be 1984 when US biomedical researcher Robert Gallo published a series of papers arguing that HIV was the cause of AIDS—questioned the “causal link” between the virus and the disease.

Other developments, too, have strengthened the position of the AIDS dissidents. Among these are: periodic revisions of the number of people suffering from AIDS; the demographic factor, which is against the nature of infectious viruses to spread regardless of identity clusters; and AIDS symptoms like tuberculosis and cancer being common results of lifestyle conditions.

Duesberg even says that it is AIDS drugs, such as AZT, that cause the disease owing to their high toxicity. The dissenters also cite data showing HIV+ individuals tend to get AIDS when they take AZT and get better if they stop taking the drug.

Among the main reasons dissenters cite in favour of their movement is skewed health funding, especially in developing countries. On May 10, the British Medical Journal carried an article calling for UNAIDS to be shut down as it distorts health funding. In it, Roger England, who heads a Grenada-based think tank, Health Systems Workshop, argued that too much is being spent on HIV compared to other diseases which kill more people.

“It is no longer heresy to point out that far too much is spent on HIV relative to other needs and that this is damaging health systems. Although HIV causes 3.7% of mortality, it receives 25% of international healthcare aid and a big chunk of domestic expenditure. HIV aid often exceeds total domestic health budgets themselves.”

Purushottam Muloli, a New Delhi-based member of Rethinking AIDS, a loose group of scientists and policy makers who do not agree with the prevalent HIV/AIDS theory, says he has been questioning the Indian health ministry and UNAIDS about the scientific evidence behind labelling sections of the population, such as homosexuals, high-risk
groups.

“The health policy of the country is being controlled by international donors. Can you believe that the entire health budget of India is less than the amount of international funding the country receives on HIV?”

Rethinking AIDS president David Crowe says the AIDS “dogma” persists because doctors are trained to obey their superiors. “There are many examples of bad medical advice becoming dogma due to the power of senior medical people. The dogma of AIDS has resulted in hopelessness and despair caused by the stigma of HIV+ status. ”
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Shirakawasuna
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2008 01:17 pm
Woo and creationism go hand in hand...

Do you think it's a lack of critical thinking in general or an antiscience 'us vs. them' type of feeling (or both) that make so many religious zealots lovers of woo?
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2008 02:01 pm
The analogy seems to be Victor Borge and the story he used to tell about his uncle who invented the cure for which there was no disease, and caught the cure and died....
0 Replies
 
yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2008 02:15 pm
Re: AIDS and HIV
gungasnake wrote:

The recently reported pessimism among researchers over the failure of an AIDS vaccine has reignited a spectacular science controversy.
Is HIV the cause of AIDS?


for the benefit of the logic-challenged, failure to develop a vaccine against a virus has nothing whatsoever to do with whether a virus causes a disease. for instance, there's no vaccine against the common cold, but i don't believe there's a controversy that a virus causes the common cold.
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jun, 2008 04:08 pm
Gee, periodic revisions of people suffering from AIDS. Hm, why could that be, I wonder? Could it be because, hm... numbers change because people can end up being infected, thus changing the number of people who suffer from AIDS?

Also, Duesberg's position on AIDS drugs has been proven to be completely false, as the overwhelming evidence shows that HIV infection and not drug use is the best predictor of AIDS development:

Schechter M, Craib K, Gelmon K, Montaner J, Le T, O'Shaughnessy M (1993). "HIV-1 and the aetiology of AIDS". Lancet 341 (8846): 165. doi:10.1016/0140-6736(93)90421-C. PMID 8095571.

Vermund S, Hoover D, Chen K (1993). "CD4+ counts in seronegative homosexual men. The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study". N Engl J Med 328 (6): 442. PMID 8093639.

Des Jarlais D, Friedman S, Marmor M, Mildvan D, Yancovitz S, Sotheran J, Wenston J, Beatrice S (1993). "CD4 lymphocytopenia among injecting drug users in New York City". J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 6 (7): 820-2. PMID 8099613.

Chao C, Jacobson LP, Tashkin D, et al (2008). "Recreational drug use and T lymphocyte subpopulations in HIV-uninfected and HIV-infected men". Drug Alcohol Depend 94: 165. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2007.11.010. PMID 18180115.

You can also find the results of a three-month investigation into Duesberg's claims here, where it is stated that:

Quote:
...although the Berkeley virologist raises provocative questions, few researchers find his basic contention that HIV is not the cause of AIDS persuasive. Mainstream AIDS researchers argue that Duesberg's arguments are constructed by selective reading of the scientific literature, dismissing evidence that contradicts his theses, requiring impossibly definitive proof, and dismissing outright studies marked by inconsequential weaknesses.


Selective reading, dismissing evidence that contradicts your ideas, requiring impossibly definitive proof, dismissing outright studies marked by inconsequential weaknesses...

Hey, it's you!
0 Replies
 
yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jun, 2008 04:24 am
Wolf_OD, i wonder if Duesberg or any other HIV skeptics belong to Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science church; the Christian Science tenet is that diseases cause germs, not the other way around. Confused
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jun, 2008 04:35 am
yitwail wrote:
Wolf_OD, i wonder if Duesberg or any other HIV skeptics belong to Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science church; the Christian Science tenet is that diseases cause germs, not the other way around. Confused


I can't see any evidence of that, although fellow scientists have called him a "contrarian".
0 Replies
 
yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jun, 2008 01:17 pm
i was being facetious, actually. contrarian's a good description. he distrusts authority, which is not a bad trait, but sometimes authorities are correct, and mavericks are mistaken. even great scientists have been mistaken; for instance, Einstein consistently rejected quantum physics, even though the experimental evidence for qp is extremely strong.
0 Replies
 
 

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