Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A conversation with a virologist.

I had a nice email conversation with a virologist recently. We started discussing HIV/AIDS denial so I pointed him to Dean's World. Needless to say he was less than impressed with that bastion of "skepticism", and he took it upon himself to answer the six questions posed there by Harvey Bialy.

I had intended to write my own post drawing heavily from his email, but he knows a lot more about virology than I do and is quite possibly a lot funnier than me. So, since I don't have as much time for blogging as I'd like,... why not cut out the middle man person?

Here is his email in full. (Some of the links are non-functional because they are search results I'll try to fix them if I can.)

Hi Pharma Bawd,

Dean is a pretty funny guy for being so self-effacing and modest. I like the way he advertises himself:

Dean's World
Defending the liberal tradition in history, science, and philosophy.


You go, Dean! My history, science and philosophy are safer now that I know you are on the ramparts defending them! Rock on, dude!

Arguing with HIV/AIDS deniers, holocaust deniers and global-warming deniers hurts my brain. I'm sure glad you are wiling to take them on, they drive me berserk. I find it interesting that all of these wingnuts have a rightist if not flat-out fascist bent. Still, Dean might be considered a liberal in Taliban Afghanistan or North Korea. I urge him to go there and find out.

There is so much ammunition to knock down these antiHIV arguments that it is just plain hard to know where to get started. So, here is a little that you are free to use if you'd like. **************REDACTED (possibly identifying information) *********

For example, let's start here

The scary six questions:


1. Why has not a single chimpanzee, out of more than 250 successfully infected since 1984, developed AIDS? There is not one other human viral pathogen that cannot reproduce a similar disease in chimps (Duesberg, P.H., Pharmacology & Therapeutics 55: 201-277, 1992).

Uh, except EBV for starters. Sorry, you flunk Virology 101. The fact that different even closely related species (and we are not that close to chimps) have different responses to a viral infection is well-known. For example, when zoos house African elephants with Indian elephants, the African elephants transmit a herpesvirus to the Indian elephants that boils their brains, makes them bleed through their skin, etc. The virus is perfectly asymptomatic in the African elephants.
Go figure. I'd say it is a fair bet that African elephants are more closely related to Indian elephants than humans are to chimps. This is called species-specificity and it is not a new idea.

So, down goes strawman argument 1.

2. Why do the in vivo and in vitro virus neutralizing antibodies that are present in easily assayable amounts in the blood of HIV infected people (Daar, E.S., Moudgil, T., Meyer, R.D. and Ho, D.D. (1991) New Engl. J. Med. 324: 961-964) not protect against AIDS if HIV is the culprit?

Ouch, man, you are starting to get rocky in Biology 101 as well, Dr. Bialy. By the late 1950s and early 1960s it was clear that neutralizing antibodies don't protect against all viral infections. This is because antibodies cannot penetrate into cells and they only target, "neutralize" ,free virus. So, lets look at something that everyone is familiar with: herpes. Do you have neutralizing antiherpesvirus antibodies? Yes, you do. Does this eliminate herpesvirus infection from your body? No, it does not. Even brilliant minds like Duesberg, Gilbert and Mullis (when he isn't short-circuiting his neurochemistry) readily admit that retroviruses like HIV have an intracellular latent proviral state which shouid be (and is) protected from neutralizing antibodies. ?">Cell-to-cell transmission in which the virus is never exposed to neutralizing antibodies has only been known for, what, 15 years? No, wonder you missed this since the data is so recent.

Strawman #2 goes up in flames.

3. Why is the incidence of HIV in the US population constant over 20+ years (US Centers for Disease Control HIV/AIDS Surveillance, Year -end editions since 1984) if the virus and disease are new and epidemic? This clear violation of Farr's Law of epidemiology must be addressed unambiguously, as it is absolutely relevant to the question of the presumed African heterosexual epidemic.

Good one, almost got me there. I had to look up Farr's Law (which is incorrectly cited in the link, ">see the following for a professional explanation) even though I've been an infectious disease epidemiologist for 20 years. First of all, CDC has not performed HIV surveillance "since 1984". CDC has performed AIDS syndromic surveillance, which is what Dr. Bialy refers to. Despite this, evidence from multiple cohort studies do show a rise in HIV incidence temporally concurrent with the onset of the AIDS epidemic which levels off in most populations in the mid1980s and now dropped in most US populations, ">see for example. This pretty much matches a description of Farr's Law, for what it is worth. Farr derived his law through sheer empiricism in the 1840s (and he actually did do a heck of a good job, Brownie) back when swamp marsh gases were thought to be the likely culprits of contagion. He had no knowledge of latent retroviral infectious diseases, pathogen carriage, asymptomatic infection, etc, and asking him to predict symptomatic HIV disease patterns from first principles is really pushing it. Finally, what the hell is Dr. Bially arguing here? That AIDS (regardless of its cause) is not an epidemic disease? is he implying that the rates of AIDS incidence are now constant and always have been (e.g. in the 1950s-80s)? Regardless of the cause, HIV or not, AIDS is clearly a new epidemic syndrome and so it doesn't really matter whether it follows Farr's Law (i.e. a bell-shaped curve with more rapid drop-off than take-off) or not. This doesn't address HIV as a cause (or not) of AIDS at all. Some loose thinking masquerading as intellectual puffery going on here.

This stawman is toast.

4. Why has every attempt to detect an actual viremia that is consistent with a pathogenic role for HIV failed? In this regard, I would expect that someone will defend the biochemical marker measurement known as "viral load" as something resembling an accurate measure of infectious virus.

Excuse me? This is just too stupid to answer, and he does it himself. Here let me try, although this is like running fingernail over the chalkboard of my brain: ">Viral load = measure of circulating virus in blood stream = superb predictor of AIDS symptoms. Man, that fucking hurt.

5. What is there in the genetic structure or organization of HIV that distinguishes it functionally from other retroviruses such as HTLV-I and II that are not said to cause AIDS?

Whoa and down it goes, it gets worse. Go to textbook. Look up proteins like Tax, tat, rev, rex. Here, I will help you.(dead link fixed--ed.) These are proteins, not ORFs (see the rest of Bialy's garbled comment). Now, Dr. Bialy, you've got a few ideas confused here. The old dictum (which we realize now isn't really true anyway) is: One gene, one protein NOT one gene, one disease. There is no single "AIDS" gene any more than there is a single meningococcal meningitis gene or yellow fever gene. Viruses and bacteria are composed of multiple genes, most of which are essential for the agent, some of them not. The summed combination of these genes determine what cells and hosts the agent can infect by changing receptor affinities, etc. Not a terribly difficult concept to master. HIV is different from HTLV I and it causes different diseases.

6. Why are exactly the same cells that HIV is said to kill in vivo not killed in vitro where productively infected cultures continue to produce 1000s of infectious particles per day for use in the various "AIDS tests' and are not protected by antibodies or 'antiretroviral' drugs (although they are by patents)?

So, lets start by seeing if there is anything in this statement that is correct. Uh, no. Actually, HIV does kill T cells in vitro and this is called the cytopathic effect (CPE), another one of those funny scientific things that were discovered in the 20th Century. The in vitro cytopathicity of HIV has been well-described since its initial discovery in 1984. The T cell depletion that occurs in vivo is likely to be more severe than simply those cells that are infected, although this is a substantial fraction of the T cell population in an HIV infected person Could this be due to a bystander effect from nearby infected T cells, possibly, but it doesn't matter since this still doesn't negate a role for HIV in T cell killing either through direct or indirect effects.

So the virus kills the same cells in the laboratory that it is proposed to kill in infected persons. But what if Dr. Bialy were right, even though he isn't and apparently he does not have a dial-up connection to PubMed? If a virus doesn't kill cells in vitro, doesn't that mean that it could not possibly cause disease? Well, actually no, since you are forgetting about something called the "immune system" which doesn't exist in a test tube but does exist in a person. So, a virus might infect a cell and have absolutely no detrimental effect on the cell. But if an immune cell such as a cytotoxic lymphocyte or a natural-killer cell recognizes that the cell is infected, the infected cell is a goner. This doesn't mean the immune system always wins, viruses can out compete immune cell killing but it should be pretty easy to see that this soon results in a cellular Mogadishu with lots of cell death competing with lots of virus replication. Sounds kind of like what happens in AIDS, doesn't it?

Now, what was your question?



Mmmmmm.... That was yummy! Thanks for that!

I know there are other scientists out there who would like to respond to some of the misuses of science they see on the internet but don't want to go to the trouble of creating their own blog.

If any other practicing scientists would like to post such a detailed rebuttal to HIV/AIDS denialists, evolution deniers, or any other abusers of science and reason, shoot me an email. If I can determine that you are who you tell me you are I'll be happy to post it for you anonymously if your arguments make sense to me.

PhB.

ps. Don't be afraid to send something that's not quite as thurough as this either.

The only blog inspired by a Bumper Sticker.

Comments on "A conversation with a virologist."

 

Anonymous Tara said ... (7/12/2006 12:01 AM) : 

Excellent, excellent post. Please pass along my thanks to your friend.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7/25/2006 12:52 PM) : 

Wow, this needs to get published as a letter to editor in Science and in Nature as the definitive rebuttal to the Duesberg nonsense.

 

Blogger Michael said ... (7/25/2006 6:03 PM) : 

Michael said...
Hello America. Dear sweet still Homophobic and Racist America, you may be wavering to the side of mainstream on HIV being the cause of AIDS. I used to be, but am not any more.

Just boiling it all down, to whom actually died or is affected, or is told that their test results are positive, or that they have AIDS, seems to me to be more than telling me all I need to know about HIV and AIDS.

Whom is testing HIV positive and being diagnosed in the category (AIDS is a category, not a disease, that requires a positive HIV test) as having AIDS. Whom is even taking the tests?

Well let me see, here in America, america, we have the numero uno group of HOMOSEXUALS running down every 3 months to take their HIV tests, mixed with some BLACK heterosexuals, every once in a while when the preacher puts the fear of GOD and the lectures that all their husbands are out on the "Down Low", a handful of Mexicans, and even most of these in the last categories of black, Mexican and dopers, are DOPE ADDICTS, and a mere minute smattering of others that do not fit into these categories. Now why almost only gays, blacks, and dopers. What else do these groups have in common?

Gee, they are all on the top of the undesirable list of an awful lot of people! It would be quite amazing indeed if this tiny little spec of 17 or so various proteins of retrovirus were smart enough to discriminate, so I can not possibly understand how the virus or the tests would know how to be racist homophobes. How can this be?

Now lets look at AFRICA. Strange as strange can be, it is a BLACK HETEROSEXUAL disease in Africa. Strangely enough the virus and the tests are again exhibiting RACIST attributes here as well. No hetero outbreak over here in the states or Europe, other than a small pattering of another unwanted and despised groups, or the dopers! Nope Indeed. Just a big ole heterosexual thing for all the poorest, malnourished black heterosexuals in Africa.

Smart virus indeed, Smart HIV test. So brilliant that it is a total RACIST and Gay Bashing HOMOPHOBE. Care to explain this PharmaBawd? Didn't think so. The largest common denominator is that the affected and infected are in the "high risk" categories of being highly discrimated against and the most vulnerable groups as well. WoW!

As a straight man, first of all, I don't even bother to go get a test, but just in case someone ever talked me into it after a long bout with the flu, I would go to the testing place, tell them I am hetero and not a doper, and they would give me the test. OK, I am in a "LOW RISK CATEGORY" for testing positive. If the test lit up as it often does for more than 60 often common conditions that are listed in the scientific journals, even including just having the flu, I would be told I need a backup test. OK, I take the backup test, and have 3 out of 6 western blot lines light up in the test, and then they see I am HETEROSEXUAL LOW RISK CATEGORY, I am declared to be a FALSE POSITIVE.

Now I go to a clinic frequented by gays. Tell them I am a gay man. Now I am in a "HIGH RISK CATEGORY". My first test lights up, I take the second test. My test lights up with the same 3 out of 6 lines that were found when I posed as the straight guy. But this time, I am said to be "HIGH RISK". My results are read differently than when I told them I was heterosexual. This time, low and behold, with the VERY SAME TEST RESULTS as last time when I was told I was false positive, as a gay man I am told Your test result came back POSITIVE for HIV! "YOU HAVE HIV, THE VIRUS THAT CAUSES AIDS".

Off I go to the HIV doc. He tells me Take these meds and take em quick, and take em for the rest of your life. Oh don't worry that they are life long chemotherapy. Don't worry about those side effects. Be brave now, lipodystrophy and liver failure, and blood poisoning from the drugs are not all that bad! Well if you say so, Doc. I am gonna die anyway if I don't take the toxic meds.

I am not even going to do any research to find out that the leading cause of death in HIV positive Americans is actually liver failure directly due to the HIV drugs, cause now I am too paranoid to even investigate it.

There you have it. HIV and AIDS, and HIV testing. Gee, How come HIV/AIDS and the HIV tests are soooo smart to get away with being as Racist and Homophobic just the same as many of the people in the world?

Whatsamatter America! Too simple to see the obvious? Although it is sooooo ugly, I hardly blame you for not looking and seeing it for what it is. But I hope one day you will have the courage to open your eyes and take an honest look. At yourself.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7/25/2006 9:22 PM) : 

Definitive rebutall!?

Huckily huck huck huck.

Fawny. Rally Fawny.

Or do some actual research, you know, for a change.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7/25/2006 9:26 PM) : 

"Arguing with HIV/AIDS deniers, holocaust deniers and global-warming deniers hurts my brain. I'm sure glad you are wiling to take them on, they drive me berserk. I find it interesting that all of these wingnuts have a rightist if not flat-out fascist bent. Still, Dean might be considered a liberal in Taliban Afghanistan or North Korea. I urge him to go there and find out."

So anyone who points out that AIDS is a problem-plagued construct is a holocaust denier?

You aren't a scientist, you're a fascist.

 

Blogger funkyfrankerbeany said ... (7/25/2006 9:33 PM) : 

"Uh, except EBV for starters. Sorry, you flunk Virology 101. The fact that different even closely related species (and we are not that close to chimps) have different responses to a viral infection is well-known."


So, you claim that we are not 'that close' to chimps, and nobody infected a chimp with material drawn from a a culture stated to contain "HIV"?

You lose on two counts, according to the mainstream. You'll find the debate easily enough if you try to read beyond your miniscule convictions. The mainstream contends that after many years of being injected and immune suppressed, they were finally able to make a chimp sick with "HIV"

 

Blogger funkyfrankerbeany said ... (7/25/2006 9:41 PM) : 

"2. Why do the in vivo and in vitro virus neutralizing antibodies that are present in easily assayable amounts in the blood of HIV infected people not protect against AIDS if HIV is the culprit?"

"Ouch, man, you are starting to get rocky in Biology 101 as well, Dr. Bialy. By the late 1950s and early 1960s it was clear that neutralizing antibodies don't protect against all viral infections. This is because antibodies cannot penetrate into cells and they only target, "neutralize" ,free virus."

So, why is there no 'free virus' in persons you say have remarkably high-titers of infection?

But then again, Bialy is arguing as though this was a logical question. The answer is that the antibodies produced are at the very least polyclonal, and the tests are non-specific.


"So, lets look at something that everyone is familiar with: herpes. Do you have neutralizing antiherpesvirus antibodies? Yes, you do. Does this eliminate herpesvirus infection from your body? No, it does not."

Herpes! Herpes is at best a latently expressed stress-reaction. Where do you get comparing your mythical deadly STD to a ubiquitous sub-clinical low-titer infection?

"Even brilliant minds like Duesberg, Gilbert and Mullis (when he isn't short-circuiting his neurochemistry) readily admit that retroviruses like HIV have an intracellular latent proviral state which shouid be (and is) protected from neutralizing antibodies. ?">Cell-to-cell transmission in which the virus is never exposed to neutralizing antibodies has only been known for, what, 15 years? No, wonder you missed this since the data is so recent."


Duesberg and Mullis claim incorrectly that they can prove the existence of a specific retrovrial proDNA through cloning. If you'd like to debate them on the infectious pathogenic value of their idea of it, you might write them. If not, look up retrovirus and Leukemia T Cell culture and see how much cross-reference you get when you put it to the test.

What are you finding? Who knows? Anything and everything you want to - and this is artifice, as it occurse only in the rare lab skullduggery, not in the field, not in Africa or among the gay victims of your nonsense.

 

Blogger funkyfrankerbeany said ... (7/25/2006 9:53 PM) : 

"3. Why is the incidence of HIV in the US population constant over 20+ years (US Centers for Disease Control HIV/AIDS Surveillance, Year -end editions since 1984) if the virus and disease are new and epidemic? This clear violation of Farr's Law of epidemiology must be addressed unambiguously, as it is absolutely relevant to the question of the presumed African heterosexual epidemic."

"Good one, almost got me there."

Yes, you almost let go of the training wheels. But not ready, it appears..

"I had to look up Farr's Law (which is incorrectly cited in the link, ">see the following for a professional explanation) even though I've been an infectious disease epidemiologist for 20 years. First of all, CDC has not performed HIV surveillance "since 1984". CDC has performed AIDS syndromic surveillance, which is what Dr. Bialy refers to."

The CDC does not perfom HIV surveillance? If this is so, then you are stating that the estimates are...estimates. And these are received how? By inflating the results of non-specific tests from conserved populations? And the rest is fictionalized?



"Despite this, evidence from multiple cohort studies do show a rise in HIV incidence temporally concurrent with the onset of the AIDS epidemic which levels off in most populations in the mid1980s and now dropped in most US populations, "


Rise in HIV incidence temporally concurrent? Do you mean that the CDC marches its footsoldiers into the black's neighborhoods and begins giving out the tests, then tabulates the number of "AIDS" cases, diagnosed on the basis of every cold sore and sniffly nose?

And you find some concurrance, temporally?

You are too funny.


"see for example. This pretty much matches a description of Farr's Law, for what it is worth. Farr derived his law through sheer empiricism in the 1840s (and he actually did do a heck of a good job, Brownie) back when swamp marsh gases were thought to be the likely culprits of contagion."

I'm glad you know of this, the false diagnosis of Malaria. There may be hope for you yet, Brownie.

"He had no knowledge of latent retroviral infectious diseases, pathogen carriage, asymptomatic infection, etc, and asking him to predict symptomatic HIV disease patterns from first principles is really pushing it. Finally, what the hell is Dr. Bially arguing here? That AIDS (regardless of its cause) is not an epidemic disease?"

Oh, no, not that! Yes, that's right, it's not an epidemic disease, Brownie. It is an epidemic of relabelling endemic diseases, poor resources and drug illnesses, and whatever else is found that falls into the trap. But of course, only if you fit the type, black or homosexual typically.



"is he implying that the rates of AIDS incidence are now constant and always have been (e.g. in the 1950s-80s)? Regardless of the cause, HIV or not, AIDS is clearly a new epidemic syndrome"


I get the feeling that you are not paying attention to the actual arguments presented in Bialy, Duesberg, Mullis or for that matter, any of the reading your are pretending to critique.




"and so it doesn't really matter whether it follows Farr's Law (i.e. a bell-shaped curve with more rapid drop-off than take-off) or not."

It should matter to you, who believes the fantasy of the sex-disease. But of course, you rout it from your critique when it proves a burden.



"This doesn't address HIV as a cause (or not) of AIDS at all."

Epidemic sex disease, or not, based on the prediction of prevelence according to epidemmic models of previous actual (this means sever and short-lived, not vague and 25 years of shameful medical pretense). So, you are foolish to the last, Brownie. It matters if it is as the mainstream predicts (which it is not).

"Some loose thinking masquerading as intellectual puffery going on here."

Well, on that we are agreed.

 

Blogger Pharma Bawd said ... (7/25/2006 9:58 PM) : 

Hi Michael,

There is a much higher chance of transmitting the virus through anal intercourse than through vaginal intercourse. It makes no difference whether the people having anal sex are hetero- or homo- sexual.

The HIV virus was introduced into the homosexual population in America earlier than the heterosexual population, which led to the epidemic of HIV/AIDS among homosexual men in the US. Neither the virus, nor the test, nor for that matter the science is racist or homophobic.

If you want to talk about the specifics of the HIV test, please cite me a source so I know what we're talking about.

I will probably be doing a post about it in the next few weeks. Feel free to stop by and check it out then.

 

Blogger funkyfrankerbeany said ... (7/25/2006 10:00 PM) : 

"4. Why has every attempt to detect an actual viremia that is consistent with a pathogenic role for HIV failed? In this regard, I would expect that someone will defend the biochemical marker measurement known as "viral load" as something resembling an accurate measure of infectious virus."

"Excuse me?"

You are excused!

"This is just too stupid to answer, and he does it himself. Here let me try, although this is like running fingernail over the chalkboard of my brain: ">Viral load = measure of circulating virus in blood stream = superb predictor of AIDS symptoms. Man, that fucking hurt."

No, but this will.

Viral load is as good a predictor of anything and everything as it is of nothing. I won't bore you with studies you won't read, but have a look at the papers on PCR and AIDS prediction.

This is in no way a predictor of any virus in the blood, just the scraps that the primers (which are consensus modelled! If you can still continue after that revelation, I will go on) can pick up in what they siphon out of the poor patients and throw in the replicator, perhaps after first giving it a kick with some PHA or other helpers, to get it to produce the whoknowswhat you suck out.

These things are postive for negative antibody assays, negative for positive EIAs, and everywhere in between.

They are only good predictors when all conflicting evidence is ignored , as you have done with a boy scout's whittling skills here.

 

Blogger Pharma Bawd said ... (7/25/2006 10:05 PM) : 

Anonymous, (anonymous commenting is cool, but could you distinguish yourself in some way? Like John Doe, or JD1 or something so subsequent comments can be taken as a whole?)

Anon 2:
"So anyone who points out that AIDS is a problem-plagued construct is a holocaust denier?"

Perhaps if you read the text you quoted you will see that the author is saying that he finds arguing with deniers of reality of any kind to be tiresome. Nobody has been called a holocaust denier here, so please keep the Nazi references to a minimum.

Godwin's Law and all that.

 

Blogger funkyfrankerbeany said ... (7/25/2006 10:08 PM) : 

"5. What is there in the genetic structure or organization of HIV that distinguishes it functionally from other retroviruses such as HTLV-I and II that are not said to cause AIDS?"

"Whoa and down it goes, it gets worse. Go to textbook. Look up proteins like Tax, tat, rev, rex. Here, I will help you.(dead link fixed--ed.) These are proteins, not ORFs (see the rest of Bialy's garbled comment)."

Proteins not what? ORF? I'm sorry, this is not a term I'm familiar with. I will wait for your princly reply.

"Now, Dr. Bialy, you've got a few ideas confused here. The old dictum (which we realize now isn't really true anyway) is:

One gene, one protein NOT one gene, one disease. There is no single "AIDS" gene any more than there is a single meningococcal meningitis gene or yellow fever gene."

Okay, this is where you are going.
Well, we can argue this until doomsday, this is a complete fiction invented by you skullduggers to sell your new concoction. There is no AIDS gene, Amen, we'll take it.

So anything you find in the mix, you call the AIDS gene, or HTLV1,2, or 3 gene, or the HIV gene, then you synthesize a protein based on at least some of what you have found (after you have put it in a consensus arrangement with other cell garbage), and you test the black and homosexuals for polyclonal response to the recombinant protein! And you want to stand by this as science? Or as epidemiology?

You should have to turn in your boy scout uniform!


"Viruses and bacteria are composed of multiple genes,"

Now viruses are bacteria!

Oh, you've crossed the threshold into fantasy world, cub scout.


"most of which are essential for the agent, some of them not. The summed combination of these genes determine what cells and hosts the agent can infect by changing receptor affinities, etc."

Keep reading from the AIDS manual, it's keeping me in stitches.


"Not a terribly difficult concept to master. HIV is different from HTLV I and it causes different diseases."


What? Is that a statement of proof? You guys make it too easy.

What diseases does HTLV-1 "CAUSE"

Have you ever read Gallo's sorrowful papers on HTLV-1?
Or, have you ever read Gallo's sorrowful papers on HTLV3? You will say no, if there is an honest bone in your body, or if you don't wish to lose your webelo patches too!

 

Blogger Pharma Bawd said ... (7/25/2006 10:14 PM) : 

funkyfrank,

(cool name) Read more carefully please. He is saying that we are not that close to chimps in comparison to say African and Indian elephants. Of course we are very close to Chimps compared to anything else.

Yes, Chimps can be infected with HIV but the disease does not progress to an AIDS-like disease in them the same way it does in humans. The reason why is that there is species specificity in the way viruses affect different, even closely related, species.

 

Blogger Pharma Bawd said ... (7/25/2006 10:20 PM) : 

funkyfrank,

Looks like you've got a lot to get off your chest. It's late, I'll let you finish and address it tomorrow.

Good night.

 

Blogger funkyfrankerbeany said ... (7/25/2006 10:29 PM) : 

"6. Why are exactly the same cells that HIV is said to kill in vivo not killed in vitro where productively infected cultures continue to produce 1000s of infectious particles per day for use in the various "AIDS tests' and are not protected by antibodies or 'antiretroviral' drugs (although they are by patents)?"

"So, lets start by seeing if there is anything in this statement that is correct. Uh, no. Actually, HIV does kill T cells in vitro and this is called the cytopathic effect (CPE), another one of those funny scientific things that were discovered in the 20th Century."


Oh, come on. This is too easy! You wish to assert that there is a virus, with no identifiable or stable gene code, that can only be found by asserting that non-specific protein reaction indicates it, but only in collected populations of black, african, homosexual and drug abusers, and also that what you didn't find is proven to cause death of TCells?

If you find the study that shows any of this, not based on surrogate markers but on EM photographed pure viremea, and that concludes any single and reproduced mechanism for TCell death, I will give you your boy scout patches back.

Of course, what you will find are 10000 papers of hypothesis, most of which will be in contradiction, and none of which will be defining or reproducible. And I'll also bet that each paper you bring will be based on the surrogates, and that you will not notice, or claim that surrogate markers are irrelevent, as you restate your original hypothesis.

What do I win when you do this? Do I get a NIH grant for my trouble?


"The in vitro cytopathicity of HIV has been well-described since its initial discovery in 1984."

By whom, according to any meaningful, testable, reproducible non-surrogate criteria? I suppose I could say - by whom, when you are not lying? That would be simpler.


"The T cell depletion that occurs in vivo is likely to be more severe than simply those cells that are infected, although this is a substantial fraction of the T cell population in an HIV infected person"

Which person? The African drinking from the puddles in rain-ditches, who you say has AIDS? or the American junkies or blacks who are on the bottom of your society? I propose to make this fair:

We will measure everybody's T cells everywhere, with the same tests, according to the same algorithms, so that fewer interpretation errors are made. And then we will know, definitively that there is no reason to use TCells as a surrogate marker, because they are too often unpredictable in measurement and in persons from different envirnomentst.

I will take your silence as consent, and we will start immediately, with your NIH friends providing the funding?


"Could this be due to a bystander effect from nearby infected T cells, possibly, but it doesn't matter since this still doesn't negate a role for HIV in T cell killing either through direct or indirect effects."


Did you put that hook in your mouth yourself?


"So the virus kills the same cells in the laboratory that it is proposed to kill in infected persons."

Of course it doesn't. HIV tests are the very conconction you are describing, the immortal cell lines of Robert Gallo, figuring no TCell death, and providing all the proteins for the polyclonal tests.

Do you get tired of being wrong? I see --


"But what if Dr. Bialy were right, even though he isn't and apparently he does not have a dial-up connection to PubMed? If a virus doesn't kill cells in vitro, doesn't that mean that it could not possibly cause disease?"

ARe you actually attempting to answer this question?

"Well, actually no, since you are forgetting about something called the "immune system" which doesn't exist in a test tube but does exist in a person."

Do you mean that what happens in a test tube or culture does not accurately predict the behavior of the human body?

Hallelujah!! Now we are coming to the same page. But just for one second, I see...



"So, a virus might infect a cell and have absolutely no detrimental effect on the cell. But if an immune cell such as a cytotoxic lymphocyte or a natural-killer cell recognizes that the cell is infected, the infected cell is a goner."

I'm sorry? Have made a case for infection of any cell here? No, of course not, but you have asserted it, over and again. This is the credo of the believers. Assert, assert. There is no infected immune cell apparent inyour paper. Only broken tests that find nothing that you claim is something.

You see the body working, producing particles and you think it means the body is dying, because you are drunk with inexperience.

"This doesn't mean the immune system always wins, viruses can out compete immune cell killing but it should be pretty easy to see that this soon results in a cellular Mogadishu"


Have you given evidence that there is any viremia? You stated there is no free-floating virus?

Are you reading Batman while you write this, because I feel the imagination of a 13-year old at work, after a comics binge...


"with lots of cell death competing with lots of virus replication. Sounds kind of like what happens in AIDS, doesn't it?"


It sounds like what happens in AIDS?

I've told you what happens in AIDS.

Poor people are told they have a fatal disease by crazed doctors, they are drugged and frightened to death, and they very often die.

What happens in the academic interpretation is that a hidden virus that does not have a stable or isolatable form manages to hide always from the capture of the heroic NIH commanders who look for it wiht their boyscout magnifying tools, but never can find it, and so use synthetic primers, proteins, probes and ideas to convince themselves that they have something.

"Now, what was your question?"

How did you figure out how to use a blog, if you are so dumb as to believe this hokum?

 

Blogger Pharma Bawd said ... (7/26/2006 11:39 PM) : 

1. Nobody claimed that a chimp couldn’t be infected with HIV. Bialy, the AIDS denier in question, claimed that Chimps could not get AIDS from HIV, and he claimed that ALL other viruses produce diseases in chimps similar to the diseases they produce in humans.

As you pointed out Chimps have gotten an AIDS like disease from HIV. So you agree, Bialy is wrong. He is also wrong on the second point that ALL viruses produce a similar disease in Chimps to the diseases they cause in humans. Epstein Barr Virus is one example of a human virus that does not produce the same disease in Chimps.

2. First, nobody said anything about remarkably high titers of infection in question #2 nor in answer #2.

Second:
But then again, Bialy is arguing as though this was a logical question. The answer is that the antibodies produced are at the very least polyclonal, and the tests are non-specific.”

I think Bialy’s question is logical, and the answer given, that the HIV virus is present inside cells where neutralizing antibodies cannot effect it and that cell to cell transmission is possible without the virus ever being exposed to neutralizing antibodies in the blood leads to the logical conclusion that the inability of neutralizing antibodies to protect against AIDS does nothing to support the case that HIV does not cause AIDS.

And third, you have somehow brought up testing into a discussion about what happens inside the body and inside cells. That’s what you call a non sequitur. You seem to do it a lot.

And Fourth:
Herpes! Herpes is at best a latently expressed stress-reaction. Where do you get comparing your mythical deadly STD to a ubiquitous sub-clinical low-titer infection?”

Are you trying to say that herpes is not caused by a virus?

The comparison being made is not the gravity of herpes infection versus HIV infection, the comparison is this:

Are neutralizing antibodies for herpes present in individuals infected with herpes? Yes, just like with HIV. Does this prevent/neutralize the herpes virus preventing symptoms/illness? No it does not. Therefore we may conclude that the presence of neutralizing antibodies to a virus is not sufficient to prevent illness caused by that virus. Thus, the mere presence of neutralizing antibodies for HIV does not indicate that HIV should be unable to produce illness. So, finally, Bialy is wrong again.

Duesberg and Mullis claim incorrectly that they can prove the existence of a specific retrovrial proDNA through cloning.”

Well, if Duesberg, Mullis, myself, and anyone with any understanding of molecular biology all agree on this, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

The rest of that comment, is again a non-sequitur. But this time it is even more irrelevant and almost completely unintelligible within the context of this discussion.

This goes back to my first comment to you. Read more carefully.

3. “The CDC does not perfom HIV surveillance?”

Did you miss the next sentence? “CDC has performed AIDS syndromic surveillance, which is what Dr. Bialy refers to."

This goes to reading comprehension, or perhaps just reading. When you figure out what the difference is between HIV surveillance and AIDS syndromic surveillance, come back and try again.

Rise in HIV incidence temporally concurrent? Do you mean that the CDC marches its footsoldiers into the black's neighborhoods and begins giving out the tests, then tabulates the number of "AIDS" cases, diagnosed on the basis of every cold sore and sniffly nose?
And you find some concurrance, temporally?
You are too funny.”


Now you’re just being dumb. Is this deliberate ie: “playing dumb”? Or is it congenital?

It is an epidemic of relabelling endemic diseases, poor resources and drug illnesses, and whatever else is found that falls into the trap. But of course, only if you fit the type, black or homosexual typically.”

Yeah, the massive increases in Kaposi’s Sarcoma, pneumonia, lymphoma, toxoplasmosis, TB,... is all due to relabelling endemic diseases. And it just happens to correlate with the introduction of a virus that attacks and kills cells in the immune system. Sure thing kid.

It should matter to you, who believes the fantasy of the sex-disease. But of course, you rout it from your critique when it proves a burden.”

Why? The pathology of AIDS is very different than anything Farr understood. The syndrome exists whether the curve describing its incidence matches Farr’s predicted curve or not. And then of course there is the main point of this answer which is that the rates of AIDS do fit Farr’s Law. So, once again, Bialy is wrong and his question has nothing to do with whether HIV causes AIDS.

And again you are in non sequitur land but I must say, this:

Epidemic sex disease, or not, based on the prediction of prevelence according to epidemmic models of previous actual (this means sever and short-lived, not vague and 25 years of shameful medical pretense). So, you are foolish to the last, Brownie. It matters if it is as the mainstream predicts (which it is not).”

Is the most gloriously unintelligible non sequitur I have ever seen, and I shall keep it always as a reminder of the futility of arguing with HIV deniers.

4. “Viral load is as good a predictor of anything and everything as it is of nothing. I won't bore you with studies you won't read, but have a look at the papers on PCR and AIDS prediction.

Well, since you’ve already bored me, why don’t you go ahead and read the study that was already provided in the initial post which shows viral load is a very good predictor of AIDS progression. I’m sure you can’t be troubled to click the link and since we’ve already established that you don’t read much of what you respond to and don’t understand much of what you do read, I’m just going to post the abstract here, the bold is especially for you:
Prognosis in HIV-1 Infection Predicted by the Quantity of Virus in Plasma
John W. Mellors, * Charles R. Rinaldo Jr., Phalguni Gupta, Roseanne M. White, John A. Todd, Lawrence A. Kingsley
The relation between viremia and clinical outcome in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1) has important implications for therapeutic research and clinical care. HIV-1 RNA in plasma was quantified with a branched-DNA signal amplification assay as a measure of viral load in a cohort of 180 seropositive men studied for more than 10 years. The risk of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and death in study subjects, including those with normal numbers of CD4+ T cells, was directly related to plasma viral load at study entry. Plasma viral load was a better predictor of progression to AIDS and death than was the number of CD4+ T cells.
This is in no way a predictor of any virus in the blood, just the scraps that the primers (which are consensus modelled!”

I take it from the fact that you’re not familiar with the use of positive and negative controls that you don’t know the first thing about PCR? And, so what if the primers are based on a consensus sequence? If the actual sequence didn’t match the consensus the primers would not amplify any DNA. The fact that they do amplify DNA proves the consensus was pretty good.
And again you miss the point, which is: Viral Load measurements predict progression to AIDS and death. If they’re measuring anything other than the quantity of viral RNAs, this is a pretty neat trick isn’t it? How would you explain it?
These things are postive for negative antibody assays, negative for positive EIAs, and everywhere in between.
That was another glorious non sequitur since we’re talking about measuring viral RNA and you’re talking about detecting proteins.
5. “Proteins not what? ORF? I'm sorry, this is not a term I'm familiar with. I will wait for your princly reply.”
Yeah, Bialy’s question is generally a mess. That’s kind of what he’s driving at here. ORF means “open reading frame” read as gene or at least something that is transcribed into RNA.
From there on out you’re in La-La-Land again. But this:
Virologist: "Viruses and bacteria are composed of multiple genes,"

Frank: “Now viruses are bacteria!”
Is the quintessential example of your inability to read.
What diseases does HTLV-1 "CAUSE"”
HTLV-1 can cause leukemia among other things.
6. “You wish to assert that there is a virus, with no identifiable or stable gene code, that can only be found by asserting that non-specific protein reaction indicates it,...”
No, it can be detected by its genome, does the fact that your genome differs from mine mean that you don’t exist? So, because HIV mutates it doesn’t have a genome? Congratulations! Dumbest argument yet, and it’s been a running theme through all your comments.
If you find the study that shows any of this, not based on surrogate markers but on EM photographed pure viremea, and that concludes any single and reproduced mechanism for TCell death, I will give you your boy scout patches back.
So now all of molecular biology must be discarded in favor of microscopy? Pictures mean something but genes and genomes do not? On a jury would you reject DNA evidence demanding photos or videotape of the crime as it’s being committed? That’s the same as what you’re doing here.
So let’s see here, if I take two identical flasks of CD4+ T-cells and add my virus to one and an aliquot of media containing no virus to the other and the cells in the flask with the virus undergo cell death but the others do not, I don’t get my patches back? Gee, it sounds like what your asking for is something other than science.
“And I'll also bet that each paper you bring will be based on the surrogates”
Your confusion with basic facts of molecular biology has gotten me confused here. By surrogates do you mean viral proteins, or viral RNA?, or do you mean DNA reverse transcribed from RNA?, or PCR product?, antibodies? or what? Just to be clear.
"The in vitro cytopathicity of HIV has been well-described since its initial discovery in 1984."

By whom, according to any meaningful, testable, reproducible non-surrogate criteria? I suppose I could say - by whom, when you are not lying? That would be simpler.”

Well, gee dumb-dumb. I didn’t expect anyone who couldn’t click on a hyperlink to make it all the way here to my little blog. So here is the abstract to the paper in the link you copied and pasted but apparently lack the intelligence to operate properly:
Princess Takamatsu Symp. 1984;15:277-88. Related Articles, Links

Protection of T cells against infectivity and cytopathic effect of HTLV-III in vitro.

Mitsuya H, Matsushita S, Yarchoan R, Broder S.

A recently discovered member of the human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV) family of retroviruses has been etiologically linked to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This virus, which has been designated HTLV-III, is tropic for OKT4+ (helper/inducer) T-cells. Moreover, the virus is cytopathic for these cells. Suramin is a drug used in the therapy of Rhodesian trypanosomiasis and onchocerciasis, and it inhibits the reverse transcriptase of a number of retroviruses including HTLV-III. In the present work, we report our findings that suramin can block the in vitro infectivity and cytopathic effect of HTLV-III at doses that are clinically attainable in human beings. We believe these results may have relevance in planning experimental therapeutic strategies for various diseases associated with members of the HTLV-family of pathogenic human retroviruses.
I took the liberty of bolding the relevant sentences, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you can find the authors names (they’re in blue) and that you can read the date.
Oh what the hell, you need all the help you can get, it’s 1984.
Which person? The African drinking from the puddles in rain-ditches, who you say has AIDS? or the American junkies or blacks who are on the bottom of your society? I propose to make this fair:

We will measure everybody's T cells everywhere, with the same tests, according to the same algorithms, so that fewer interpretation errors are made. And then we will know, definitively that there is no reason to use TCells as a surrogate marker, because they are too often unpredictable in measurement and in persons from different envirnomentst.”

That’s more non sequitur but it forces me to inquire, is it your position that whatever a persons T cell count is, if we start killing them (the T cells) off, no ill effects will occur?
Do you mean that what happens in a test tube or culture does not accurately predict the behavior of the human body?”
Yes they can differ, but fortunately for us, in the case of HIV, T cell cytopathicity occurs in both the test tube and the body. Leaving no room for equivocation unless we were in full-fledged denial. And so of course, you continue.
The rest of your comment is utterly worthless. It is the quintessence of denial. Not only of HIV as the cause of AIDS but of immune system surveillance entirely.
How did you figure out how to use a blog, if you are so dumb as to believe this hokum?”
Well I was dumb enough to open comments to any idiot who walked through the door, so I guess that tells you something. If this keeps up I will implement a reading comprehension test and you will have to troll elsewhere.

But thanks for stopping by!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8/26/2006 11:39 AM) : 

I not any virology expert so I won't comment on wheather or not HIV = AIDS, but I'm confused as to weather or not it is an epidemic.

according to this source: http://www.unaids.org/en/HIV_data/2006GlobalReport/default.asp

1.9 million north americans are HIV positive

30 000 of that 1.9 million have progressed to AIDS and died

unless my math is wrong, asuming the total poulation of North america is around 300 000 000 poeple that means that only 0.6% of the population is infected with HIV and of them only 1.5% deveope AIDS and dies?

Is that an epidemic???

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8/31/2006 12:49 PM) : 

Yes.

Virologist

 

Blogger Pharma Bawd said ... (8/31/2006 7:18 PM) : 

Here's a definition of epidemic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemic

"Defining an epidemic can be subjective, depending in part on what is "expected". An epidemic may be restricted to one locale (an outbreak), more general (an "epidemic") or even global (pandemic). Because it is based on what is "expected" or thought normal, a few cases of a very rare disease like rabies may be classified as an "epidemic", while many cases of a common disease (like the common cold) would not."

So yes, AIDS definitely was and still is an epidemic.

 

Blogger Leviana said ... (10/29/2009 10:29 AM) : 

AIDS is still epidemic, but the amazing medicines of some Canada No Prescription make it less dangerous.

 

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Anonymous call center voip solutions said ... (8/13/2012 12:51 PM) : 

This article needs to get published as a letter to editor in Science and in Nature as the definitive rebuttal to the Duesberg nonsense. So anyone who points out that AIDS is a problem-plagued construct is a holocaust denier?

 

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