HIV/AIDS Skepticism

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

Posts Tagged ‘telomeres’

UCLA’s AIDS (“Beetroot”) Institute discovers how HIV kills cells

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/01/02

HIV/AIDS vigilantes enjoyed many field days criticizing Thabo Mbeki’s health minister, cartooned as “Dr. Beetroot”, for suggesting the medical and nutritional value of a number of herbs and vegetables. Turns out that we have a Beetroot Institute right here in these medically scientific United States; moreover, funded by the HIV/AIDS mainstream:

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Herbal chemical helps combat HIV
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 1 (UPI) — Scientists at a Los Angeles multidisciplinary think tank say the herb Astragalus root may help fight HIV.
University of California, Los Angeles, AIDS Institute researchers say a chemical from the Chinese medicinal herb may help immune cells stave off the progressive loss of disease fighting ability caused by HIV, infections associated with chronic diseases or aging.
Immune cells are compromised as they age and their chromosomes — known as a telomere — become progressively shorter with cell division. The Astragalus root chemical prevents or at least slows down telomere shortening, the study said.
‘This has the potential to be either added to or possibly even replace the HAART — highly active anti-retroviral therapy — which is not tolerated well by some patients and is also costly,” study co-author Rita Effros said in a statement.
In a study published in the Journal of Immunology, Effros and colleagues show how the herbal plant chemical — called TAT2 — helped inhibit HIV replication.
“The ability to enhance telomerase activity and anti-viral functions of CD8 T-lymphocytes suggests that this strategy could be useful in treating HIV disease, as well as immunodeficiency and increased susceptibility to other viral infections associated with chronic diseases or aging,” the researchers said in a statement.
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AHA! HIV shortens telomeres! At last we know how HIV destroys the immune system!

Obviously it’s time to update Principles of Molecular Virology which still says:
“It is not clear how much of the pathology of AIDS is directly due to the virus and how much is caused by the immune system itself. There are numerous models which have been suggested to explain how HIV causes immune deficiency:
Direct Cell Killing: . . .
Antigenic Diversity: . . .
The Superantigen Theory: . . .
T-cell anergy: . . .
Apoptosis . . .
TH1-TH2 Switch: . . .
Virus Load and Replication Kinetics: . . .”

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