Re: Re: Kaposi's Sarcoma and the Perth Group 17 August 2004
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Nicholas Bennett,
Infectious Disease Postdoc/Clinician
Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Syracuse NY

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Re: Re: Re: Kaposi's Sarcoma and the Perth Group

It is quite clear to me what Chris Noble meant in his sarcastic comment: The Perth Group make a sweeping statement using the words " HIV plays no role" in KS, which is ludicrous, since KS is several thousand times more common in HIV+ people as I've shown previously.

Mr Russel has also confused HHV6 with HHV8, two entirely different herpes viruses. Additionally, KS is not a blood vessel overgrowth but a lymph vessel overgrowth. The correlation between poppers and KS is simple: poppers were used often by homosexual men, who spread HHV8 (along with HIV) through sexual contact. It is a good example of a confounding variable. In the same way one can show a correlation between the number of television sets in a household and the risk of getting breast cancer.

KS is found with HHV8 in 100% of samples from all forms of KS, there is really no need to invoke any kind of drug abuse as a causal agent. That's not to say that (like HIV) it may augment the action of HHV8, but that's not the same as saying HHV8 doesn't cause KS.

I suggest Mr Russel reads the Ascher paper from 1993 to show the true relative risks of KS or any other AIDS-related condition with drug use. Duesberg didn't like the results and methodolgy but didn't manage to refute their findings to my satisfaction.

1. 1. M. Ascher et al. Nature 362, 103; 1993

Competing interests: None declared