baiting the tiger: HIV revisited, what constitutes sufficient evidence

Sorry, can’t resist.

So, I ask you, and and anyone else who is convinced that HIV does not cause AIDS: what would constitute sufficient evidence that HIV _is_ the cause of AIDS?

And I ask those of us who believe that HIV does cause AIDS: what would constitute sufficient proof to convince us that it does not?

I’ll start

HIV and AIDS

reposted an article which is highly critical of the current medical practices and beliefs with respect to AIDS and HIV. My reading is that it’s trying to imply HIV probably doesn’t cause AIDS without saying it. She quotes someone who says that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, but also notes that she isn’t sure that these people are correct, but feels that they need to be heard.

The major claims seem to boil down to a few, paraphrased endlessly.
HIV meds are toxic. This is true. The dissidents claim that this does not get acknowledged by the mainstream medical establishment. This is not true to the best of my ability to discern. Everyone I’ve talked to on meds has shared their experience with the side effects. They say that this is something they are told about before they start a regimen. Standard medical practice for a variety of diseases. We don’t tell people about the side effects of drugs they won’t be taking, because that’s time consuming, and useless. HIV meds are hardly unique in having nasty side effects. Perhaps these side effects should be trumpeted loudly, particularly to the bugchasers, but that’s another story.

The denialists talk about alternate treatments, but give no information on long term survival rates for people provided only such treatments, on expense of these treatments, etc. Nor do they talk about late stage AIDS reversal rates for these treatments. Contrast this to HIV where the experiments to determine the efficacy of AZT were cut short because AZT was showing dramatic benefits and it was judged unethical to allow patients to die when treatment was available. This was probably under active pressure from ActUp and similar organizations. I do kinda wonder what the FDA on this was.

Dissidents, or denialists rarely mention the frequency with which AZT and later, cocktails produced dramatic turn-arounds in AIDS-related declines. They acknowledge that it “helps in some cases”, but never get into anything like hard numbers.

I have my own concerns about entrenched pharmaceutical interests, and I believe in the HIV theory. Assume for a second, if you don’t already, that HIV is the cause of AIDS. Pharma makes big money off of treatments for HIV. If a vaccine and a cure were both developed, such that HIV was a thing of the past and AIDS never occurred, and the profit to be made from selling this innovation were trivial, how possible would it be for makers of current HIV meds to buy off, deny or supress the creation of such? That would be difficult to arrange though. But it’s the pharmaceutical industries that run the trials for new drugs. How often will they pony up for trials of anything promising such benefits?

But, in the first several years of AIDS, the disease was treated in a variety of ways without using Protease Inhibitors or Reverse transcriptase inhibitors (AZT is one or the other I think). Do you have any real evidence that they were anywhere near as effective?

You want research done on nutritive therapy, great. Should be comparatively cheap. If there’s such good reason to doubt, why is there difficulty raising the money? Start up a parallel group to do what you believe is real research. Fundraise, prove the world wrong. I certainly won’t stand in your way. I might even donate a dollar or two.

Sorry, this is not the cohesive, point by point post I’d hoped to make, but I’m not inundated with free time. Maybe I’ll revisit the topic later.