“While many other vaccines target specific strains of HIV, the treatment that [Gallo] has developed takes a different approach. It attempts to block the virus before it can invade the body’s T-cells (a central component of the body’s immune system) and mutate, at which point it becomes invisible to the body’s immune system and much harder to treat. Should it prove successful, this vaccine would offer protection against a large class of viruses collectively known as “HIV-1.” [source]
Give it up, Gallo. I’m off to the betting shop to bet against him.
6 news outlets, among others, reported on the news of a possible ‘HIV cure’ after a 44-year-old British HIV+ man showed undetectable HIV in the blood following “kick and kill” treatment: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
One of the striking things about the story is that only 2 of the outlets mentioned the acronym AIDS, one of which only used it in an info box (The Sunday Times may have used the acronym but it is a pay-walled article). While this is undoubtedly trivial it shows that the disease state is now of less interest than the alleged cause.
If this man is either an ‘elite controller’ or just benignly HIV+ we cannot say with confidence that removal of ‘evidence’ of HIV averted his developing AIDS. On the flip, if this man comes to develop an AIDS-defining illness and continues to test HIV-negative would it be correct to say that disease is not AIDS simply because of the absence of ‘HIV’?
I predict this ‘cure’ will come to nothing, like all the others.
People with filariasis [caused by roundworm infection] compared to those who did not have filariasis had a 3.2 fold increased risk of HIV infection in the age group 14 to 25 years and a 2.4 fold increased risk in the age group 25 to 45 years. Those over 45 years had a 1.2 fold increased risk.
Is it unreasonable to think better provision of clean water would avert AIDS?
[T]he vaccine stimulated antibodies that recognized HIV as well as microbes commonly found in the intestinal tract, part of the body’s microbiome.
…but these antibodies did not neutralize HIV.
If the antibodies created recognise the material expected to appear in intestinal dysbiosis, how do you know that those antibodies are actually for that and not ‘HIV’? Cross-reactive antibodies are not uncommon, but they should expectedly target what they’re intended for as well as other things.
In people with acute HIV infection, the majority of anti-HIV antibodies target gp41 but do not neutralize the virus. Prior research suggests that these naturally occurring antibodies likely originate from immune cells in the intestinal tract previously stimulated by the microbiome, leading to polyreactivity.
Trends in Molecular Medicine has published an open access opinion article by Jay A. Levy that demonstrates some open-mindedness in dealing with AIDS, read here.
What’s interesting is that – on the assumption of HIV theory as true, for argument purposes – the article nods at trying to strengthen innate (non-adaptive) immunity as opposed to just focussing on classic antibody (adaptive) immunity. You could bypass two problems with such a solution: you might not have to worry about confusing between the HIV-antibody-vaccinated and the HIV-infected since both groups would test HIV-positive, and you’re aiming at dealing with a precondition to HIV infection, which is any weakness of innate immunity (or existing immunodeficiency).
Dissidents would flip out Occam’s razor and say that you should only deal with the immunodeficiency that is evident, rather than try and pin things on HIV which seems to us resultant than causal.
The rest of the article almost shakes the hand of dissidents while firmly remaining on its side of the border. For example, questioning the validity of inflammatory markers, admitting “Prescribing ART for a lifetime is like giving chemotherapy forever“, showing doubts about treatment when asymptomatic, and noting that ART impairs immunity itself.
CHENNAI: KG Hospitals on Friday afternoon admitted that there was “some confusion” about how the 16-year-old boy from Ooty could test positive for HIV. They admitted that the boy had tested negative for the virus before his dialysis treatment in December, but tested positive for it in March.
…The hospital claims they have clear records of the three people, whose blood was transfused into the boy, and tests to show that they were HIV negative. “We do not know how the virus entered the boy’s blood stream,” admitted the hospital’s chairman K G Bhakthavatchalam.
The boy had been treated by the hospital for more than three months for kidney failure. Both his kidneys had failed; he was undergoing dialysis and needed a transplant urgently.
How can the orthodoxy answer this without conjecture?
[Source: The Times of India]
The scientist who helped discover the HIV retrovirus talks about her work and why she is convinced a cure for Aids can be found.
…Since 1992 she has led her own unit at Pasteur, which is currently studying examples of naturally occurring immunity to HIV infection and resistance to the onset of Aids that might provide clues on how to design a vaccine or cure. One current study tracks a cohort of so called “elite controllers”, rare people who although HIV-positive don’t develop Aids, and “post-treatment controllers” who after early treatment resist progression without drugs. The group is also about to start working with drug users in Vietnam who remain uninfected despite having been exposed to HIV.
Barré-Sinoussi is convinced a functional cure, which would prevent people with HIV having to take cocktails of antiretroviral drugs for the rest of their lives, is achievable. “It exists naturally so we scientists should be able to induce it,” she says. A total cure or vaccine for HIV are tougher challenges, she says, but ruling them out would be “not French”.
One would think that the existence of more-than-rare elite controllers (benign HIV-positivity), post-treatment controllers (HIV-positivity that signalled a short-term health threat) and the exposure resistant (HIV is not infectious, or is not the core problem) would make Barre-Sinoussi question the edifice she helped to build.
If a functional cure for HIV “exists naturally”, then is she not nodding to an answer within the realm of quackery?
[Source: The Guardian]