I have previously discussed Figure 3 of Rodriguez et al. (JAMA, Sept. 27, 2006), which shows an extremely poor, bordering on zero, correlation between CD4 cell numbers and HIV viral load. Today, I take a closer look at Figure 2 of the same article, which is reproduced below.
There are 5 bar graphs showing median CD4 cell loss per year for each of 5 HIV viral load subgroups. Each chart shows a Gaussian distribution of the data. I have drawn a pencil line through the midpoints of the parts of the figure to make it obvious that the locations of the center bar for each of the five Gaussian distribution charts fall on a very straight line that screams: HIV is not the cause AIDS.
The caption below the figure reads: “…to emphasize the slight increase in CD4 cell decline with increasing plasma HIV RNA levels”.
The caption is misleading. There is no slight increase in CD4 decline. There is only a very negligible or no increase with increasing HIV load.
If one wanted to present results showing that increasing HIV viral load numbers do not lead to the loss of CD4 cells (sometimes called AIDS), I cannot think of a better visual demonstration.
W. Keith Henry MD in a JAMA editorial on p.1523 of the same issue writes: “These findings provide support to those who favor non-virological mechanisms as predominant causes of CD4 cell loss”
He also writes: “The seemingly useful practice of combining CD4 cell count and plasma HIV RNA levels to assess individual prognosis or response to HAART needs to be re-examined”...[and]... “Sustainability of the current paradigm (anti-retroviral combo drugs) is at best questionable.”
After 20+ years of HIV/AIDS research, JAMA finally agrees with Peter Duesberg.
Authors, Rodriguez and Lederman were driven by the dissident enthusiasm for their paper to make an unprecedented and childish defense of their work on various unread church weblogs, that actually contain some satire almost as good as what is found here, although the satire is of course entirely unconscious. It went, in part, like this:
”There is absolutely no doubt that HIV is the cause of AIDS; far from challenging the veracity of this statement, our work further confirms it. This is easily appreciated from our initial analysis of the data, which shows that on average, individuals with higher viral loads tend to lose CD4 cells more rapidly that those with lower viral loads.”
Only if saying so makes it so docs. You can spin all you want, but the WMDS weren't in Iraq, and no amount of bluster will make them magically appear.
Jeffrey Dach M.D. is board certified in interventional radiology and a member of the Board of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. He retired from radiology two years ago, and is currently in private practice focusing on bio-identical hormone treatment. He is also a painter who frequently exhibits.