HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘intestinal dysbiosis’

Intestinal dysbiosis hypothesis goes mainstream

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2017/05/20

It seems that the idea of recommending probiotics for “HIV+” people has become downright mainstream now. The following links were sent me by Tony Lance; they mention among other things dysbiosis and microbial translocation, which Tony had pointed to in his essay, cited on this blog nearly a decade ago (What really caused aids: slicing through the Gordian Knot).

“Impact of probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii on the gut microbiome composition in HIV-treated patients: A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial” by Judit Villar-García et al.

“Microbes & HIV” by Jeannie Wraight

“STUDY: Probiotic could help prevent disorders in people with HIV” by Jeannie Wraight.
This mentions “A new study reported in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences”, presumably “Probiotics differently affect gut-associated lymphoid tissue indolamine-2,3-dioxygenase mRNA and cerebrospinal fluid neopterin levels in antiretroviral-treated HIV-1 infected patients: A pilot study” by Carolina Scagnolari et al. [Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1639; doi:10.3390/ijms17101639] .
This article was in a special issue of IJMS, “Immuno- and Neuropathogenesis of HIV Disease: Mechanisms, Prevention, Treatment, and Cure” which included another pertinent piece:

“Impact of HIV infection and anti-retroviral therapy on the Immune profile of and microbial translocation in HIV-infected children in Vietnam” by Xiuqiong Bi et al. [Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1245; doi:10.3390/ijms17081245] .

Neither of those sources mentions the probiotic Visbiome, referred to in Wraight’s article. However, the Visbiome website  cites “Probiotic supplementation promotes a reduction in T-cell activation, an increase in Th17 frequencies, and a recovery of intestinal epithelium integrity and mitochondrial morphology in ART-treated HIV-1-positive patients” by Gabriella d’Ettorre et al. [Immunity, Inflammation and Disease, 2017; doi: 10.1002/iid3.160]  whose Conclusions are worth quoting:
“These findings highlight the potential beneficial effects of probiotic supplementation for the reconstitution of physical and immunological integrity of the mucosal intestinal barrier in ART-treated HIV-1-positive patients”.

 

Posted in Alternative AIDS treatments, antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials, HIV in children | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

HIV and Intestinal Dysbiosis: Probiotics are good for HIV+ people

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2016/06/26

I thank Marco Ruggiero for alerting us to these important articles, which report that probiotics can increase CD4 counts and improve health in general:

Irvine et al. (including Gregor Reid), “Probiotic Yogurt Consumption is Associated With
an Increase of CD4 Count Among People Living With HIV/AIDS”, Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 44 (2010) e201–e205 (ProbioticCD4increase)

Gregor Reid, “The potential role for probiotic yogurt for people living with HIV/AIDS”, Gut Microbes, 1 (2010) 411-414 (ProbioticReidGutMicrobes)

Ruben Hummelen et al. (including Gregor Reid), “Effect of 25 weeks probiotic supplementation on immune function of HIV patients”, Gut Microbes 2: (2011) 80-85 (25weeks-probiotics)

Posted in Alternative AIDS treatments, antiretroviral drugs, clinical trials | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Intestinal Dysbiosis theory confirmed

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/11/05

The thread on Questioning AIDS mentioned in the previous post is not only about oxidative stress and that HAART adds more such damage, it refers also to a number of articles that lend considerable support to Tony Lance’s hypothesis of intestinal dysbiosis:  damage to the intestinal microflora destroys safeguards — in particular against fungal infections — and allows leakage of certain substances from gut to blood which in turn leads to testing “HIV-positive”.
Mainstream work seems increasingly to be edging toward accepting this view. For example:
“the gastrointestinal tract plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of acute HIV-1 . . . infections”
— Mehandru et al., Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 116 (2005) 419-22.
“The gastrointestinal pathology associated with HIV infection comprises significant enteropathy with increased levels of inflammation and decreased levels of mucosal repair and regeneration”
— Brenchley & Douek, Mucosal Immunology, 1 (2008) 23-30
“Why and how HIV makes people sick is highly debated. Recent evidence implicates heightened immune activation due to breakdown of the gastrointestinal barrier as a determining factor of lentiviral pathogenesis. . . . Translocation of microbial products from the gut, in turn, correlates with increased immune activation in chronic HIV infection and may further damage the immune system . . . . Maintaining a healthy GALT [gut-associated lymphoid tissue] may be the key to reducing the pathogenic potential of HIV”
— Hofer & Speck, Seminars in Immunopathology, 31 (2009) 257-66.
“Reducing the pathogenic potential of HIV” by maintaining a healthy GALT is quite like Montagnier’s assertion, captured in the House of Numbers film,     that a healthy immune system can stave off damage from “HIV” (some discussion here). In practical terms — no theorizing about causes — these mainstream statements mean and recommend  precisely the same as Lance does:
You have more chance of staying healthy, whether you are “HIV-positive” or “HIV”-negative, if you don’t do anything to harm your beneficial gut microflora. Be sensible in terms of lifestyle. Pay special attention to diet, and by all means use probiotics.

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The mainstream has been unable to identify specific mechanisms by which “HIV” is supposed to kill off the immune system. The currently favored idea seems to be that “HIV” somehow brings about chronic systemic immune activation:
“the increased CD4+ and CD8+ cell death and proliferation is a consequence of virus-induced immune activation, not virus-mediated killing”
— Douek, PRN Notebook, 10(#3) (2005) 9-12.
“Chronic activation of the immune system is a hallmark of progressive HIV infection and better predicts disease outcome than plasma viral load” [emphasis added]
— Brenchley et al., Nature Medicine, 12 (2006) 1365-71
“HIV infection is characterized by chronic immune system activation” (review article)
— Nixon & Landay, Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS, 5 (2010) 498-503.

But how does “HIV” produce that condition?
“circulating microbial products, probably derived from the gastrointestinal tract, are a cause of HIV-related systemic immune activation. . . . These data establish a mechanism for chronic immune activation in the context of a compromised gastrointestinal mucosal surface”
— Brenchley et al., Nature Medicine, 12 (2006) 1365-71
“Microbial translocation has been linked to systemic immune activation during human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 infection. Here, we show that an elevated level of microbial translocation . . . correlates with AIDS”
— Nowroozalizadeh et al., Journal of Infectious Diseases, 201 (2010) 1150-4.
So, again, precisely the Lance hypothesis: Damage to the gut’s protective functioning allows leakage into the blood of substances not normally there, producing chronic activation so long as the leakage persists. Eventually serious illness can result.

The salient difference between the Lance theory and the mainstream belief is this:
— If Lance is right, then damage to the gut microflora precedes whatever markers may be used to detect what is thought to be “HIV” or to diagnose what is considered “AIDS”.
— If the mainstream view is correct, then “HIV infection” causes the damage to the gut.

Now, according to Sankaran et al., Journal of Virology, 82 (2008) 538-45:
“HIV-induced pathogenesis in GALT [gut-associated lymphoid tissue] emerges at both the molecular and cellular levels prior to seroconversion in primary HIV infection, potentially setting the stage for disease progression by impairing the ability to control viral replication and repair and regenerate intestinal mucosal tissues. . . . deterioration of the intestinal mucosa may initiate rapidly following infection . . . . HIV-induced enteropathy is well established within the first few weeks of infection, potentially even prior to seroconversion” [emphases added].
The examined biopsy samples had been obtained “at 4 to 8 weeks following HIV infection”; 3 of the 4 patients were then HIV-negative, and the 4th seroconverted 2 days before the biopsy. “Four highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)-naive patients in the primary stage of HIV infection (4 to 8 weeks postinfection)” were studied. However, it is not explained how these individuals happened to be enrolled in this study and to be under observation even before seroconversion. The only mentioned reason for assuming “HIV infection” were “flu-like” symptoms, and at that time they tested HIV-negative. Cited earlier studies by the same authors give no more specific information about these individuals; the only clue is that the work seems to be associated with the Center for AIDS Research, Education and Services in Sacramento (CA): so perhaps gay men enroll who are concerned that they might be exposed to “HIV” and might at some time seroconvert?
At any rate, it seems permissible to doubt that the date of “HIV infection” could have been accurately known. But in any case this is immaterial for the present purpose. What is clear is that at some time prior to testing “HIV-positive”, these four individuals had experienced damage to the mucosal lymphoid tissue of the sort seen in “HIV disease” or “AIDS”.
That is precisely what Lance’s intestinal dysbiosis theory predicts.
The mainstream belief is that “HIV infection” immediately — albeit it not always! — produces “flu-like” symptoms, but that antibodies do not appear for several weeks. It seems at least equally plausible that damage to the gut’s immune system brings gut leakage and immune activation that immediately causes “flu-like” symptoms. After all, those symptoms — fever in particular — are the direct result of activation of the immune system as it responds to foreign presences.

*                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

When Tony had first told me of his theory, it came as the answer to what had been for me the most puzzling aspect of the HIV/AIDS story, from the viewpoint of one who had already seen that “HIV” is not what it’s said to be. The puzzle was, why gay men tested “HIV-positive” at such high rates; even though many of them remained seemingly healthy; and why testing positive seemed maximally probable at ages in the thirties or early forties. The intestinal dysbiosis theory explains those: A certain degree of dysbiosis can produce a positive “HIV” test without causing significant ill health; but continuing damage to the gut microflora over a decade or two could bring ill health as well as testing “HIV” positive.

At the Oakland Conference, Tony described how he came to his theory. The abstract, slides, audio, and video of his talk are available at the Conference website.
(The YouTube version of Part 2 seems  to stop before the end of Tony’s talk.)
Watching that video, one must surely be impressed by the strength of character this man has displayed. He disclaims expertise in science, but Tony Lance has demonstrated the single most important feature of doing science properly: an unwavering determination to look at all the evidence and then to seek explanations for it.

Posted in clinical trials, HIV as stress, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests | Tagged: , | 32 Comments »

Same old, same old ignorance and idiocies

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/03/13

Media coverage of HIV/AIDS is largely ignorant of most of the facts, so alarm is expressed over “changes” that aren’t changes; and obvious inferences aren’t drawn because they aren’t compatible with HIV/AIDS dogma. Here are a few items picked up by yesterday by my Google Alert:

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Surprise?! Gay men test “HIV-positive” more frequently than others?!

You Are All Diseased: Gay Men’s HIV Infections Rising 44X Faster than Straight Men
We’re really trying to wrap our heads around this statistic, because it’s off the deep-end of troubling. ‘A new analysis released Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention,’ relays D.C. Agenda, ‘shows that the rate of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men, also referred to as MSM, is more than 44 times greater than that of other men and 40 times greater than that of women’” [emphasis added].
This is from a blog that focuses on “the gay agenda” and yet appears ignorant of the fact that gay men have tested “HIV-positive” an order of magnitude or two more often than, say, military personnel, ever since the beginning of the AIDS era — for example, Table 3 or Figure 22 in The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory.
So what’s there to “wrap heads around”?
Here’s the comment I posted on that blog:
“Gay men have tested ‘HIV-positive’ at rates that are an order of magnitude or two higher than for, say, Army personnel, ever since the beginning of the ‘AIDS era’. What seems so little understood is that this does NOT reflect relative rates of irresponsible sexual behavior because
1. HIV tests do not in themselves detect HIV infection, have never been approved for that purpose, and have a high rate of ‘false positives’ and cross-reactions with other conditions EVEN WHEN SO-CALLED CONFIRMATORY TESTS ARE USED; see
Press Release: ‘A positive routine “HIV test” is likely to be a false positive, scientist explains’, 2010/03/09
2. A positive HIV-test may OR MAY NOT reflect a threat to health. Most pertinent for gay men: certain practices that are generally thought of as hygienic, like rectal douching, actually enhance the chances of testing poz through damaging the intestinal microflora that are the first defense established by the immune system; see https://hivskeptic.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/gay-relatedintestinaldysbiosis.pdf

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Failure to aid drug users drives HIV spread — study
* ‘Critical problem’ in Russia, China, Malaysia, Thailand . . .
LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) — More than 90 percent of the world’s 16 million injecting drug users are offered no help to avoid contracting AIDS, and governments that ignore them risk a spiralling public health crisis, drugs experts said on Monday.
Injecting drug use is an increasingly important cause of HIV transmission in many countries around the world. Users can spread the virus in blood by sharing needles with an HIV-infected person, and pass it on by having unprotected sex.
Of the estimated 16 million injecting drug users worldwide, 3 million are thought to be HIV-positive, and drug users are thought to account for 10 percent of all those living with HIV.
In Russia, for example, around a million injecting drug users are living with HIV and some 65 percent of new HIV infections there are thought to come from injections.”
What those “drug experts” and other “experts” don’t recognize is the rather obvious inference that it’s the drugs themselves that are causing people to test “HIV-positive” and making people ill:
Routine “HIV” tests; herbal magic; Canadian natives at risk, 21 August 2009
“HIV/AIDS” in Estonia: Demographics and shibboleths, 18 August 2009
Estonian drug addicts don’t have much sex, 13 August 2009
Crack cocaine causes AIDS!, 12 August 2008
Cocaine and heroin aren’t good for you! — a Golden Fleece Award, 13 June 2008

[and, incidentally, that antiretroviral drugs can make things even worse — Drug peddlers’ ads ignore FDA, 5 November 2009]

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HIV: getting all South Africans tested
12 March 2010
The government is scaling up its HIV/Aids prevention and treatment programme by shifting away from voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) to HIV counselling and testing (HCT), a new service delivery model that will see HIV testing become part of procedure at all health facilities.
In addition to the testing, all health care facilities will also be equipped to offer anti-retroviral treatment. Anyone who walks into a health facility will be offered a test as opposed to South Africans having to go for voluntary testing.”
So we can look forward to increasing numbers of healthy people being found “HIV-positive” — because of pregnancy, say — and subjected to antiretroviral drugs that make them unhealthy:  Press Release: “A positive routine ‘HIV test’ is likely to be a false positive, scientist explains”, 2010/03/09

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Finally, the ones so truly crazy that you find it hard to believe that the story wasn’t made up:

Christian group says gay marriage more dangerous than smoking
By Jason Hancock 3/12/10 4:53 PM
Homosexual activity is ‘more dangerous for individuals who engage in it than is smoking,’ and because of this, state lawmakers need to pass a constitutional amendment overturning last year’s Iowa Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, according to Iowa Family Policy Center President Chuck Hurley. . . .
‘The Iowa Legislature outlawed smoking [in some public places] in an effort to improve health and reduce the medical costs that are often passed on to the state . . . . The secondhand impacts of certain homosexual acts are arguably more destructive, and potentially more costly to society than smoking. . . .
Iowa lawmakers need to pay attention to hard facts and not be persuaded by emotion laden half-truths” [emphasis added].
I need some help in understanding what those “secondhand impacts” might be. What I do understand is that Hurley imagines himself to be one who pays attention to hard facts and isn’t prone to emotional acceptance of half truths; he needs to learn from Robbie Burns: “Oh wad some power the giftie gie us to see oursels as others see us!”

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, experts, HIV absurdities, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, HIV transmission, HIV/AIDS numbers, uncritical media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Must read

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2010/02/12

There is a great deal worth reading about HIV and AIDS and dissent from the mainstream view, and impossible to keep up with it all. So I’m very grateful when I’m alerted to particularly important items. Here’s one:

“Exclusive: A Gut Instinct about AIDS” by Russell Schoch, at reducetheburden.org

When Tony Lance first told me of his idea that intestinal dysbiosis could explain much about HIV/AIDS, I was immediately interested because it was the first explanation I had come across as to why gay men are so prone to test “HIV+”, even when they are not exemplars of the fast-lane drug-abusing lifestyle and even when they turn out to remain quite healthy while “HIV+”, i.e. are “long-term non-progressors” or “elite controllers”.

Since then Tony has turned up a staggering volume of mainstream publications that make his idea, in my view, progress from “plausible” to “compelling”. Russell Schoch’s article provides convincing context to Lance’s work. It is absolutely a MUST read.

Posted in antiretroviral drugs, HIV does not cause AIDS, HIV risk groups, HIV skepticism, HIV tests, M/F ratios | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »