HIV - a smoking gun? 12 October 2004
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Nicholas Bennett,
Infectious Disease Postdoc/Clinician
Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Syracuse NY,
Brian Foley, Chris Noble contributed. Don't shoot the messenger.

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Re: HIV - a smoking gun?

People can get holes in their heads without being shot with gun. Therefore being shot is not a necessary condition for a hole in the head. Therefore it is impossible to say that guns play a role, any role, in producing holes in the head. Besides, the tissue surrounding these holes is invariably oxidised indicating that oxidative stress plays a dominant role in these injuries.

Nobody has ever isolated 100% pure speeding bullets. Bullets still in cartridges prior to being fired, and bullets expanded in brain cavities are at best "surrogate markers" for speeding bullets. The bullets found in brains are not all 100% identical...

Oxidative stress is a much better explanation. The hole in the head lets air in. Air has oxygen in it. Many people with bullets in their heads abused drugs or alcohol too, or were soldiers and therefore under tremendous stress.

Competing interests: A sense of humour.