Regarding 'endogenous entities' and 'epiphenomena' 17 February 2005
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Peter Morrell,
Hon Research Associate, History of Medicine
Staffordshire University, UK

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Re: Regarding 'endogenous entities' and 'epiphenomena'

Several times in his recent posts Alex Russell has referred to HIV as "an epiphenomenon" and the viruses purportedly involved as "endogenous entities." Can he please explain in greater detail what he means by these terms?

For example, as I provisionally grasp this idea, does he mean to say that viruses are simply random products of deranged cells? In which case, does this apply only to certain viruses, all viruses and what about bacteria?

Does he then further mean to say that such "endogenous entities" cannot realistically be regarded as the *causes* of a disease process, but that they might be better understood as mere 'associative factors' or even products of a disease? It would be very helpful if Alex Russell could clarify these points.

Competing interests: None declared