The Piatak Study CONFIRMS the Link Between HIV and Disease AND Shows Antiretroviral Drug Efficacy... 28 April 2003
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Tony Floyd,
Medical Student
Newcastle University, Newcastle Australia 2308

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Re: The Piatak Study CONFIRMS the Link Between HIV and Disease AND Shows Antiretroviral Drug Efficacy...

M Piatak Jr and others have been cited above in support of alternative AIDS theories (yawn). As I have demonstrated with other researchers it is all too easy to establish that they do not support such ideas and that they have published numerous other papers which also confirm that they do not share the very beliefs attributed to them or their research.

for example:

> the pioneering study of Piatak et al. where high HIV viral load did not translate into infectious virus

The study in question was published in Science magazine(1). It found that HIV1-RNA levels were:

"significantly associated with disease stage and CD4+ T cell counts"

The strong association between HIV-1 RNA levels and both disease stage and CD4plus T cell counts was found to "confirm and extend work" by Coombs(2), Ho(2), Pantaleo(3), Schnittman(4), and Michael(5)

In spite of all this evidence, the (alleged) critic of this work is:

> Piatak et al. were unable to culture HIV from 53% of patients with viral loads ranging from 10,000 to over 2,000,000 copies of HIV RNA per ml of blood plasma


They were able to culture HIV from the other 46%. And even if they weren't, they weren't aiming to culture HIV. They were showing a correlation between HIV levels and disease. Which they did.

Piatak et al. also found that HIV levels:

"decreased by as much as 235-fold with resolution of primary infection or institution of antiretroviral therapy."

So aside from the association between disease and HIV levels the study found antiretroviral therapy highly effective. Now I'm sure someone will propose some obtuse and/or fallacious reason to discredit the study. Before doing so please explain why you called it 'pioneering', and why you cited it in support of the enduringly specious argument that there is no link between HIV and AIDS?

The evidence, once again, proves that their is little reason to doubt the existing rationale.


(1) Piatak M Jr. Saag MS. Yang LC. Clark SJ. Kappes JC. Luk KC. Hahn BH. Shaw GM. Lifson JD. High levels of HIV-1 in plasma during all stages of infection determined by competitive PCR.[comment]. [Journal Article] Science. 259(5102):1749-54, 1993 Mar 19. UI: 8096089 [Abstract]

(2) R. W. Coombs et al., ibid. 321, 1626 (1989); D. D. Ho, T. Moudgil, M. Alam, ibid., p. 1621.

(3) G. Pantaleo, C. Graziosi, A. S. Fauci, N. Engl. J. Med. 328, 327 (1993).

(4) S. M. Schnittman, J. J. Greenhouse, H. C. Lane, P. F. Pierce, A. S. Fauci, AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses 7, 361 (1991).

(5) N. L. Michael, M. Vahey, D. Burke, R. R. Redfield, J. Virol. 66, 310 (1992).

Competing interests:   None declared