Reply to Morrell: Regarding 'endogenous entities' and 'epiphenomena' 18 February 2005
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Alexander H Russell,

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Re: Reply to Morrell: Regarding 'endogenous entities' and 'epiphenomena'

Peter Morrell stated: "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?"

An epiphenomenon is an associative factor found in a disease which cannot be shown to be either causative or contributory to said disease. association is not proof of causation.

Morrell continues: "For example, as I provisionally grasp this idea, does he mean to say that viruses are simply random products of deranged cells?"

In some cases, yes, they are - where viral proteins can be shown to originate in the nucleus of the cell. Most viruses replicate in the cytoplasm.

"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."

It would seem that endogenous viruses are activated or released in response to a prior disease condition. This may be the case with hepatic viruses which are released by the liver and subsequently interpreted to be the cause of the liver disease: i.e: hepatitis. In other words the liver becomes diseased for other reasons - pathogenic assault, alcoholism, etc. and then may release endogenous virus particles in response to the disease rather than instigating the disease. However, hepatitis viruses when generated replicate at a huge rate and massive titres are recorded; this has never been the case with 'HIV'.

It is high time that many of the cherished assumptions about virology be re-examined not least assumptions concerning so-called 'retroviruses'. For instance is 'HIV' a lentivirus or not? If 'HIV' is never found at a sufficient titre in vivo to be considered an infectious dose some 200 particles or more per ml of blood etc. - then it is unlikely to be transmitted horizontally or only with the greatest difficulty, as shown by the studies of Padian and others.

Traditionally, as Peter Duesberg reminds us, retroviuses are transmitted vertically from female to offspring. The idea that highly infectious 'HIV' is teeming in the blood and semen of infectees, and therefore very easily spread, has never been demonstrated and is completely false.

It is my hypothesis that what we are calling 'HIV', assuming it to be an exogenous, infectious virus, is merely an over-interpretation of the antibodies raised against a constellation of hitherto unobserved endogenous proteins expressed by perturbed cells.

The Perth Group have dealt with each of the 'HIV' proteins in turn showing them all to be standard cellular proteins; indeed they argue that all data presented so far are consistent with the 'HIV' proteins being cellular. Using 'HIV' antibodies as probes, 'HIV'proteins have been identified in the tissues of persistently HIV-negative, healthy individuals, including in blood platelet and skin cells, thymus, tonsil and brain. (1).

Reference: 1) Papadopulos-Eleopulos, E., Turner, V.F., Papadimitriou, J.M. (1993), "Is a positive Western blot proof of HIV infection?", Bio/Technology 11:696-707.

Competing interests: None declared