Commenting on his recent publication questioning the value of viral load measurements as predictors of T-cell decline, Michael M. Lederman, MD wrote:
"The idea that our findings published today in JAMA can be taken to support the concept that HIV is not the cause of AIDS is ludicrous. The role of HIV as the cause of AIDS has been proven over and over again. Clearly the people who are misrepresenting our work are not only incapable of clear thinking, they are also apparently unable to read."
Pardon me for thinking otherwise.
Even if one is willing to endure the intellectual contortions necessary to reconcile these findings with the HIV/AIDS hypothesis, it is impossible to deny that they are incompatible with the justification for the treatment strategies advocated over the past 10 years.
In case anyone was in a cave, for a decade, the treatment dogma has been:
1. CD4 counts and "viral load" are accurate predictors of progression to "AIDS" and death. In fact,
2. All three are correlated to each other. As viral loads go up, CD4 counts go down, and each indicates progression to "AIDS". This is because HIV causes loss of CD4 cells. This is why they are called "surrogate markers". This is why dozens and dozens of studies used viral load and CD4 counts as outcomes. Conversely, as viral load goes down, CD4 counts go up, and the patient is "healthier".
3. If viral load goes up and CD4 counts go down sufficiently, you should go on ARVs immediately. Who knows how many healthy people have been put on these drugs on the basis of viral load and CD4 counts alone.
The above 3 points have been drummed beyond belief over the past 10 years. For the AIDS establishment to deny now that this is what they have been saying all this time boggles the mind, but is not surprising.
Neither is it surprising that these new "findings" should be once again subsumed into the HIV mythology, although at ever greater costs of intellectual contortion.
Now, after 25 years of very expensive research, 'they' have arrived at the conclusion that 90% of what we always thought was the most important factor (loss of CD4 cells) can't be accounted for by the amount of HIV (assuming the viral load test is even accurate in the first place).
Nevermind, the fundamental assumption cannot be wrong. We just need billions and billions more dollars to figure out the ever more enigmatic mechanisms by which HIV is responsible for CD4 loss while only 10% is accountable for by viral load. Just give us more money, and we'll produce as many "mysteries" as we please, and you pay for.
These guys seem to have forgotten they are accountable to (a) the taxpayers who support them, and (b) the patients who are coerced into taking their drugs based on assumptions that after 10 years they admit are wrong. They are not above accountability just because they are scientists. They are using our money and our bodies. No group should be able to get away with this. But because of our society's mass worship of the new "scientist priest", and the belief that they are morally superior to other human beings, they can wiggle their collective finger and everyone dances to their tune, no matter how off key, or tired.
Darin C. Brown received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2004. His dissertation was in algebraic number theory, although he tells us he also has "interests in Fuchsian groups, category theory, and point-set topology". (Fuchsian groups? Sounds exciting !) His "mathematical lineage traces to Stark and Chebyshev". Dr. Brown is also the wikimesiter at the AIDS Wiki, and recently became curator of the Memorial Serge Lang Archive, announced in the Oct. issue of The Notices of the American Mathematical Society. There is a "Hank" discussion of the "new" viral load results here.