Vitamin D deficiency high in Ugandan TB (AIDS-defining illness) patients

In the present study, researchers wanted to know if patients admitted to the hospital for tuberculosis in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, were vitamin D deficient or not.

They measured vitamin D levels among other things in 260 consecutively admitted tuberculosis patients. They found vitamin D deficiency was common, despite Uganda close proximity to the equator and having an abundance of sunshine.

…The researchers also noticed that vitamin D deficiency was more common in patients with HIV co-infection, low CD4 cell counts (a type of cell that helps your immune system) and anemia.

What’s the bigger problem: vitamin D deficiency or HIV-positivity?

[Source: Vitamin D Council]

Anal sex and ‘HIV’

“The rate of new HIV infections is especially high among gay men recently diagnosed with a rectal sexually transmitted infection (STI), according to research conducted in New York City and published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

…“Our results demonstrate that rectal CT/GC infections are objective markers for identifying persons at an exceptionally high risk for HIV,” comment the authors.

STIs can cause biological changes that increase susceptibility to infection with HIV.”

Put another way, maybe STIs combined with the need for treatments that can be harsh on the gut increase the likelihood of becoming HIV+ in accordance with Tony Lance’s theory.

[Source: Aidsmap]

Acronym acrimony

In the history of medicine there appears to be no disease – or group of – that needs to be defined with its causative agent other than HIV/AIDS. Why?

First, what does AIDS mean? Acquired immune deficiency syndrome. A less technical way of saying that is ‘something happened to make you ill in various ways’. Well, lots of things like drug use and malnutrition are responsible for that, so we have to narrow it down if ascribing a virus, so we say human immunodeficiency virus is *a* cause of AIDS. Hence HIV/AIDS.

The fact that something has to be put before /AIDS shows that it must have multiple causes. Measles is caused only by a virus, for example, and thus doesn’t need the format of [Something]/Measles.

AIDS by its vagueness must be caused by a number of things. Whether HIV is one of those things is still open to debate.

Aflatoxin Immune Deficiency Syndrome?

“Kept in sacks piled in barns and warehouses, food stores in countries near the equator are contaminated by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, fungi that produce a toxic substance called aflatoxin.

…chronic exposure has been linked to liver damage and related cancers;…

“Our work suggests that aflatoxin exposure may be taking an even greater toll in areas where millions are infected with HIV, including Africa and Asia, the latter with a fast-growing HIV population and rice storage areas contaminated by fungi,” Pauline Jolly, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Epidemiology within the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), said.

…They divided patients into four [study] groups based on their level of aflatoxin exposure and found that those in the highest exposure group were 2.6 times more likely to have a high HIV viral load than those in the lowest exposure group.

Higher viral load translates into higher rates of HIV transmission and the potential for earlier progression to the opportunistic infections of AIDS .”

How about this: Higher aflatoxin exposure itself is responsible for increased ‘viral load’ and ‘HIV’-positivity, and AIDS-defining illnesses.

[Source: Deccan Chronicle]

Charged with ‘possibly’ spreading HIV

“Police in the Polish coastal town of Gdynia have charged an HIV-positive prostitute with infecting possibly hundreds of clients with the virus.

…Investigators said the woman has admitted having sex with clients in the full  knowledge she risked infecting them with HIV. If found guilty, she faces three  years behind bars.

…Police are now trying to establish just how many men might be at risk but said  it could even be “hundreds” given that the woman, who has not been named for  legal reasons, plied her trade in Gdynia, the neighbouring city of Gdansk and  the popular holiday resort of Sopot from 2006 onwards.

…The case came to light after a client infected with HIV came forward and  contacted the police, but the motive behind the alleged crime remains secret.”

Sure, the woman should have revealed that she was HIV+ so that clients had an option to decline intercourse or continue with a condom. However, given flaws in HIV theory, we could argue that her thus-far one infected client is co-incidentally HIV+ (I.e. nothing to do with her), and if we find much less than “hundreds” of infected people, – which after the previously blogged Oklahoma debacle is highly possible – given that HIV is said to be highly infectious, surely the most you could charge her with is failure to disclose a marker? A marker that would apply to people who in the future would be vaccinated from HIV – if HIV causes AIDS and it is possible to vaccinate from.

[Source: The Telegraph]

Chicken or egg?

“The Yale-led team found that a low-expressing version of the immune response gene known as macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF)—a cell-signaling molecule secreted by the body’s —conferred a two-and-a-half two and a half-fold increased risk for severe tuberculosis in a group of patients from Uganda. Low-expressers of MIF are almost twice as common among people of African ancestry as Caucasians.

“This helps to explain the increased incidence of TB in Africa,” said senior author Richard Bucala, M.D., professor of rheumatology, pathology, and epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Public Health.

Furthermore, this variation may be especially important in people co-infected with HIV, who have a compromised immune system. “Therapies to augment MIF action could provide a new tool to combat the global TB epidemic,” Bucala said.”

So, what’s the first issue – low MIF expression or ‘HIV’? Both seem to be attributed to suppressed immunity.

[Source: Medical Xpress]

The failure of prohibition

“The war on drugs has failed in its original purpose of reducing drug use,” Kazatchkine said. “Not only has it failed in that objective, but it is harmful in several respects.” Drugs have become cheaper and more widely available, and new synthetic drugs are coming onto the market every year.

Chris Beyrer of Johns Hopkins nicely summed up the message from both sessions: “It’s pretty clear that the war on drugs is unwinnable, the war on drugs users is terrible and also unwinnable, but the war on HIV, HCV, and TB can be won with evidence-based policy,” he said.

*

If drugs are legalised, not only do we remove the street dealer and make them cleaner, we redefine the user as a patient and not a criminal. ‘HIV’ and AIDS will decrease because of a proper framework of care, not because clean needles prevent transmission of some phantom spectre.

[Source: Aidsmap]