HIV/AIDS Skepticism

Pointing to evidence that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS


Posted by Henry Bauer on 2014/06/13

Etienne de Harven has suggested how “Human Endogenous Retroviruses can resolve HIV/AIDS puzzles”.  Our friend and colleague Mo A. alerted us to this highly pertinent article:

J Virol. 2014 Jun 11. pii: JVI.00919-14. [Epub ahead of print]

Unfixed endogenous retroviral  insertions in the human population.

Marchi E1, Kanapin A2, Magiorkinis G3, Belshaw R4.
Author information
1  Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.
2  The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford OX3 7BN, UK.
3  Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK
4  School of Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences, Plymouth University, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK

One lineage of human endogenous retroviruses, HERV-K(HML2), is upregulated in many cancers, some autoimmune/inflammatory diseases, and in HIV-infected cells. Despite three decades of research it is not known if these viruses play a causal role in disease, and there has been recent interest in whether they can be used as immunotherapy targets. Resolution of both these questions will be helped by an ability to distinguish between the effects of different integrated copies of the virus (loci). Research so far has concentrated on the 20 or so recently integrated loci that, with one exception, are in the human reference genome sequence. However, this viral lineage has been copying in the human population within the last million years, so some loci will inevitably be present in the human population but absent from the reference sequence. We therefore performed the first detailed search for such loci by mining whole genome sequences generated by Next Generation Sequencing. We found a total of 17 loci: ranging from being present in only two of the 358 individuals examined to being present in over 95% of them. On average, each individual had six loci that are not in the human reference genome sequence. Comparing the number of loci we found to an expectation derived from a neutral population genetic model suggests that the lineage was copying till at least ∼250,000 years ago.

About 5% of our genome sequence is composed of the remains of retroviruses that over millions of years have integrated into the chromosomes of egg and/or sperm precursor cells. There are indications that protein expression of these viruses is higher in some diseases, and we need to know (a) whether these viruses have a role in causing disease and (b) whether they can be used as immunotherapy targets in some of them. Answering both questions requires a better understanding of how individuals differ in the viruses they carry. We therefore carried out the first careful search for new viruses in some of the many human genome sequences that are now available thanks to advances in sequencing technology. We also compare the number we find to a theoretical expectation to see if it is likely that these viruses are still replicating in the human population today.

Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
PMID: 24920817 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]



3 Responses to “HIV and HERVs”

  1. The following is a letter sent to Dr. de Haren under a different email address:
    Hello Dr. de Harven,

    My name is XXXX. I will be 55 in August. I am considered an anomaly by my doctors at Vancouver’s Immunodeficiency clinic at St. Paul’s hospital. They cannot understand why I’m still alive, let alone healthy -until the end of 2010 when I went into emergency. At this point I was ARV naive.

    Survival was not at the top of my list at that time. I allowed treatment because of a promise I had made to my mother when she was alive, to be here for my older sister …there’s just the two of us and my 89 year old father.

    It was expected that I’d survive a few days …a week at the most. This turned into a 5 months stay in palliative care from Christmas Eve (Dec. 25th) 2010. Three or four of those months were entirely bed ridden -I was 96 pounds …nose feeder …PICC line …all that…

    My way of life, both professional & recreational, combined with external stressors most people would not survive, led to the convergence a multitude of AIDS defining diseases simultaneously.

    All well and good. Here I am in June 2014. 2011-2013 I recovered in my home. There was a massive regime of pharmaceuticals -a table of which I am happy to provide you with if any of what I have to say interests you.

    From about the end of 2012, at my insistence, we embarked on a plan to peel back medications layer by layer …giving each a 3 month period to ensure if there was an unfavourable reaction, we would know which drug to reinstate. All went well.

    ARV therapy (Truvada & Raltegravir) was stopped in Sept. 2013. I realised there could possibly be some rebound malaise in the following months as my body learned to look after itself. This happened over Dec. -January …general fatigue, abdominal distress …which are also emotional symptoms of Christmas and the complicated relationship with my sister as well as Ferrous Fumerate I was prescribed, both of which I stopped. I’m fine now. Energy excellent, no sickness …not even a cold. Cardio could not be better.

    Allow me to backtrack a bit: I worked my entire adult life as a concert pianist/entertainer. I have a way of playing that is a gift. The worst effect from all the pharmaceutical therapy has been neural inflammation. I couldn’t touch any hard surfaces for a long time. My feet (toes in particular) are paralysed. My neurologist performed tests and said the longest nerves in my legs have severely degraded reaction to electrical stimulation. The tendons of my toes (again mostly on the left side) are retracted. This has improved a bit but is of little concern to me. I equate this feeling to walking on a cloud -there is almost a floating sensation caused by not feeling the ground. Most of this receded after the drugs were stopped. It most pronounced on my left side which was the side I had the PICC line in for 5 months.

    I come from a long line of doctors, eminent surgeons and registered nurses dating back to the mid -1700’s in England. My mother once told me that veins and nerves will reroute themselves given time and gradual, persistent use. Knowing this, one year ago, June 2013, I sat at the piano for 2 – 7 hours a day and retaught myself to play, sometimes focusing on excruciatingly slow exercises playing of two notes for 30 minutes, alternating the fingers of the left hand where damage was most pronounced. For the most part I have overcome it.

    There is some restricted motion in my left arm. I have been to a vascular surgeon and have an MRI of my left shoulder scheduled for Sept. 2nd. He doesn’t think it’s anything to worry about, but there is a pronounced reduction of blood-flow in the brachial area when I raise the arm. He believes this a common remnant of the PICC line. Happily, I developed a new technique unlike anything I’ve heard before that has allowed my right hand to outperform anything I did in the last 30 years, while using my computer to make up for any lack in the left.

    And finally I reach the point of why I’m writing; Inflammation. Sitting at a piano for hours on end is going to cause it …we all suffer in the way of athletes.

    I have a ferritin level well above 7,000 & HIV numbers are in the millions. My doctors cannot find it’s cause and naturally lean toward HIV as the great cause of EVERYTHING. We have an understanding that they will not bring up ARV therapy unless I request it …which I would for a short duration if my MAC (it was disseminated) CMV (retinal & colitis) parasitic tests were of concern. They are not. All is well.

    It’s “the chicken or the egg.” The doctors say the HIV is causing the inflammation & high ferritin counts -my liver and kidney functions are all normal. I believe inflammation is causing whatever HIV numbers actually represent, to be grossly elevated.

    I DO NOT subscribe to medicine by numbers. I do subscribe to self healing (Louise Hay) Inflammation = inflamed thinking …and that could very well be the case with me.

    I feel better than I have for many years and absolutely never suffer normal sickness, colds flu, gut issues …other than emotional …which have been recorded in me since 1961.

    I have taken amphetamine for the last 30 years both prescribed and illicit and have reduced the dosage from 30 mg to 20 mg daily to see if it has any effect. For many years, as everyone I knew died …either from AIDS drugs complications or cancers or suicides, I believed amphetamine was keeping me alive by stimulating my immune system. I had the same psychiatrist for many years, who was involved in clinical research here. He had SPECT imaging performed sometime around 2000 -2006. The results , given my history (which I will share if you wish) were startling;
    “A subtle indentation in the frontal lobes which may or may not indicate ADHD. Possibly a natural anomaly. Does not indicate any history of drug or alcohol abuse.”

    My psychiatrist was confounded. His words were, “I have patients in the hospital whose bodies and lives have been destroyed by amphetamine and methamphetamine …yet your brain seems to thrive on it.”

    I no longer see him as he is winding down his practice but can furnish you with his email if you wish to confirm this.

    Dr. Bauer’s blog today, although often some jargon is beyond me, touched a nerve -if you will forgive the pun.
    Obviously there is inflammation of unknown cause.
    I cannot see I would have survived the ordeals of the last four years only to develop cancer.
    I currently present alternate symptoms of fibromyalgia, lupus and arthritis yet all tests including ANA have returned negative.
    I believe HIV to be irrelevant in causation, but rather, a byproduct of something heretofore systemic and undiagnosed.
    While I consider myself to enjoy robust good health, it is my wish that my medical records, including the cofactors leading up to the terminal diagnosis of December 2010 (since revised) be available to those if the scientific fields who are studying the possibility the this number labelled HIV is an indicator and not a cause.

    I am most interested in whatever consideration you wish to give in all this.


    • Henry Bauer said

      Wellbred Nfed:
      Thank you for this highly informative piece!
      I hope it will be of specific help for HIV+ individuals who grapple with dilemma when they become ill for any reason. Your experience certainly jibes with the overall evidence that “HIV” doesn’t cause “AIDS” or anything else but is rather a marker of some sort of stress.

  2. Lukas said

    What i wonder is:
    If according professor Duesberg all retroviruses do not kill the cells they infect and this is what was always known how can be established a final causal mechanism on how these retroviruses cause disease?Such assumption wouldn’t be rather the result of some fantasy-junk-science explanation to fill an empty gap and that cannot be proved anyhow?I’ve always thought a solid theory must be grounded on evidences and not on assumption that are needed to justify the theorem.Cancer invades organs and tissue and can be shown on xray with hiv we don’t isolate in the blood(except for pcr which is not a valid method)and everything become neboulous.In emperor new virus microscopist Goldebrom was asked if the pictures claimed to be hiv were really hiv and he answered “probably”.Imagine if during a cancer biobsy there is uncertainty if some cells are cancerous or healthy and the doctor need to take a decision to take out an organ on the basis of mere probability!I think that if retroviruses had to be pathogenetic we should have already known after all this time.And if we have not make it clear till now as the abstract say that means we don’t have enough proofs to assume they are,and most important we cannot for any reason assume it.And how is possible hiv is a devil and the remaining 99.999 are saints?There must be some confounding cooperation among them as De Harven says!Probably looking at this particles serve the purpose to blame the farthest possible culprit for diseases and unblaming our habits,underestimating the innate power of immune system to cope with them and have an easy explanation to events that are the results of a thousand more complicated interactive factors.I guess the problem is the virus-centric paradigm which should be turned upside down becouse if these microbes had to be deadly we had already to be estinguished as humanity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: