Answers to Pennee Atkinson 27 July 2004
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Nicholas Bennett,
Infectious Disease Postdoc/Clinician
Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Syracuse NY

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Re: Answers to Pennee Atkinson

In response to Pennee Atkinson, as I have mentioned in my previous posts there are plenty of methods to show live infectious virus in a person: culture being the most obvious, but PCR would also be applicable (although it does have a false-positive rate). Also, the current vaccine approaches are tending towards cell-mediated responses, which won't induce antibodies so much as cytotoxic T cells. These seem to be protective for certain individuals "in real life", so I see no reason why this approach shouldn't work for in a vaccine trial.

Subunit vaccines, such the recent gp120 trials that didn't work, will also be applicable since they won't induce responses to p24 or other viral proteins. There is currently only one subunit vaccine in existence, that of Hepatitis B, and I'm not convinced this approach will work for HIV.

You can certainly wait to see if disease develops: contrary to the rather cynical statement made (I presume on the basis of misinformation gleaned from the Internet) the rate of disease progression is still about 8-10 years and is certainly measureable in long-term clinical trials. It is however still too slow for meaningful results in a reasonable time: viral culture is a more likely method of monitoring should a vaccine be trialed that induces antibody responses.

Additionally, the initial results would show whether or not any antibodies or T cell responses were even induced, which ought to be available within weeks of the vaccinations.

As regards the KS question, the organ donors might not have had HHV8. The most likely situation is that the recipients had HHV8 which activated when they were put on immunosuppressive therapy. If the donors did have HHV8 they wouldn't have developed KS for the same reason as many other people with HHV8 - their immune systems were intact.

The very simple reason why you can show it is HIV and not the drugs in AIDS patients is that (and read this well, because it completely destroys the AIDS dissident arguments) putting AIDS patients on antiviral therapies cures their KS. Yes, targetting HIV allows the immune system to recover and take on the HHV8.

You will not read this on a dissident website, for fairly obvious reasons.

A very recent study published in May shows a 90% drop in annual KS numbers since the initiation of Highly Aggressive Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART). Risks of KS were higher if you were a homosexual man (perhaps due to a higher risk of having HHV8) and had lower CD4 counts (the main surrogate marker for immune function). Additionally, the longer you were on HAART the LOWER your risk for KS. [1]

HHV8 immune responses are absent prior to HAART and are restored after anti-HIV therapy [2]. Failure to control KS with HAART is associated with failure to control HIV as measured by viral load [3]. There are more references available than I have the inclination to quote from...

All of this flies in the face of the anti-HIV/AIDS proposals. It has been accepted by the establishment as one of the hallmarks of AIDS - that by treating the HIV you can control the other opportunistic infections, and yet this one crucial fact is ignored by a great many critics of the hypothesis. The old, very old, argument originally put forward by Duesberg that AZT (not even one of the mainstream drugs these days, nor even the most toxic!) can cause AIDS (somehow retrospectively) has been soundly trounced!

One of the most shocking lies spread is that AZT was canned as an anticancer agent because it was toxic. This issue seems to need addressing because of the link made by Ms Atkinson between AZT and immunosuppressive drugs. In fact it was shelved because it was inactive as an anticancer agent in the lab (if you read Duesberg's original statement closely he actually ASSUMES it was canned due to toxicity)[4]. This was made clear on a dissident mailing list and public internet discussion groups, several times, several years ago, and yet the story continues to this day...

The source of this correction? None other than one of the scientists who shelved AZT... [5]

Refs:

1. Mocroft et al. Cancer Volume 100, Issue 12 , Pages 2644 - 2654. The changing pattern of Kaposi sarcoma in patients with HIV, 1994-2003

2. Bourboulia et al. AIDS. 2004 Feb 20;18(3):485-93. "Short- and long-term effects of highly active antiretroviral therapy on Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus immune responses and viraemia.

3. Catteln et al. Eur J Cancer. 1999 Dec;35(13):1809-15. Regression of AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma following antiretroviral therapy with protease inhibitors: biological correlates of clinical outcome.

4. Duesberg PH. Inventing the AIDS virus.

5. Dr Richard Beltz. Communication to Re-Appraising list, 1999. http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=7gc5 0e%24ld8%241%40pegasus.csx.cam.ac.uk&output=gplain

Competing interests: None declared