Re: No scientific evidence — no scientific debate 17 December 2004
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Peter J Flegg,
Physician
Blackpool, UK, FY3 8NR

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Re: Re: No scientific evidence — no scientific debate

The issue of how PCP or other infections are diagnosed is a straw man – specifically one erected by the Perth Group to distract others (and themselves?) from the central issue. The fact remains that illnesses such as PCP, CMV retinopathy, cerebral toxoplasmosis, disseminated mycobacterium avium infection, PML, etc. occur overwhelmingly in those who are HIV seropositive. The Perth Group have persistently refused to even acknowledge this, let alone try and cogently explain it. Their hypothesis as to why these conditions occur is that exposure to drugs and semen magically renders us all susceptible. However, the number of cases among HIV seronegative drug users, sexually active individuals or blood recipients is vanishingly small. According to the Perth Group, we should be seeing hundreds of thousands of these cases every year.

Please can the Perth Group tell me where they are.

Perhaps the they would also care to explain, as I and others have requested of them on no less than eight separate occasions, why they misrepresented or misquoted every one of the 10 references they cited to try and justify their claim that human CD4 counts can drop below 50 cells/microlitre?

It seems very strange that when the Perth Group make a claim, even in the absence of any scientific evidence base, they do not feel the need to justify it. Yet if I refer to documented scientific facts and cite valid references for a statement, the Perth Group persistently demand that I personally “prove” the fact, and unless I can do so, any conclusion I arrive at is dismissed as a mere matter of faith.

Finally, I am more than happy to debate specific issues in a scientific manner. As I have previously pointed out, I am more than prepared to put in the time to read referenced work before citing it, which is why I cannot reply to every frivolous question posed in this debate. Should the Perth Group wish to debate the diagnostic algorithms in use for PCP diagnosis and management I will happily do so.

Competing interests: None declared