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Medicine Science

German Doctor Cures an HIV Patient With a Bone Marrow Transplant 639

reporter writes "HIV is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Until now, HIV has no cure and has led to the deaths of over 25 million people. However, a possible cure has appeared. Dr. Gero Hutter, a brilliant physician in Germany, replaced the bone marrow of an HIV patient with the bone marrow of a donor who has natural immunity to HIV. The new bone marrow in the patient then produced immune-system cells that are immune to HIV. Being unable to hijack any immune cell, the HIV has simply disappeared. The patient has been free of HIV for about 2 years. Some physicians at UCLA have developed a similar therapy and plan to commercialize it."
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German Doctor Cures an HIV Patient With a Bone Marrow Transplant

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  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:02PM (#25695097)

    I'll be really interested to see if this result can be replicated.

    I'll be really interested to see if this DONOR can be replicated.

    I've been expecting something like this ever since the discovery of HIV-immune [] individuals. So yes, the donor can be replicated.

  • Yeah great and all (Score:2, Informative)

    by NotSoHeavyD3 ( 1400425 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:09PM (#25695163)
    I mean other than the downsides of a bone marrow transplant actually being one of the riskiest procedures around, often killing anything up to 20% of recipients within a couple of weeks. Maybe after all drug treatment options have failed this might be a good idea.
  • Re:Germans (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:10PM (#25695171)

    And since when have people been "HIV Immune"? I've never heard of that shit.

    Sure, there have been reports of HIV-immune prostitutes in Africa for years. With a large and diverse enough population, there's bound to be a few individuals who are resistant or immune to any given disease.

    I'm a little surprised that the solution was as "simple" as a bone marrow transplant. I expected genetic therapy, etc.

  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:11PM (#25695179)

    Is there a way to create or replicate this bone marrow? Or will this immune donor be continually used for every AIDS patient in the world?

    It's not quite as simple as that. As I understand it, there are different bone marrow types - just like you get different blood types - and for a transplant to be successful, you want to be transferring to someone with the same type. So for every HIV+ patient, you need to find a donor who is not only of the right type, but is also naturally immune.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:12PM (#25695191)

    The article states it clearly - 30% mortality rate plus you have to find a donor.

  • Re:Germans (Score:3, Informative)

    by Atheose ( 932144 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:13PM (#25695201)

    Yeah, after reading the article from the original post I did a bit of research on it myself--apparently 1% of all Europeans have this CCR5 mutation? The bad news: about 30% of people who get bone marrow transplants don't survive the procedure, and the CCR5 mutation makes it more likely for them to die of other things lik West Nile Virus.

    In any case, this is wonderful news for the scientific community. Even if this doesn't amount to anything it's still a breakthrough that could help piece together the overall picture. Exciting news.

  • by dogberto ( 102257 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:14PM (#25695207)

    Yeah there is...

    Currently, the theory is that HIV immunity is provided by a mutation of the CCR5 receptor. In particular, it seems to provide an immunity also to the bubonic plague--it is as a result of the bubonic plague that this recessive mutation has manifested itself today in somewhat greater numbers in certain populations--natural selection, so to speak at work.

    check out:

  • by NotSoHeavyD3 ( 1400425 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:17PM (#25695241)
    Bone marrow is full of stem cells which is kind of the point which is why the technical term is Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation []
  • by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:29PM (#25695335)

    On the contrary, bone marrow transplants are the cheapest transplants.

    In essence, bone marrow transplantation is just an intravenous injection.

  • by DebateG ( 1001165 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:32PM (#25695351)
    Well, there are two problems with this. Firstly, hematopoietic stem cells don't last very long in culture. Lots of people are trying to figure out why, but I'm not optimistic that this problem will be solved any time soon since the cells normally exist in a complex microenvironment in the marrow that we don't really understand yet. But more importantly is the issue of MHC typing. While you need someone who has the CCR5 mutation (which is pretty rare), you also need to have someone who matches your MHC type. Think of MHC as the molecules that allow your body to identify self from non-self. The more MHC matches you have with the donor, the less chance you have of developing a life-threatening disorder called graft vs. host disease. Ideally, doctors want someone related to you, but if those people don't match, you have to do an unrelated donor search. Generally, finding a MHC match requires a large registry search that takes weeks to months to carry out, and many people, especially non-whites (due to the lack of representation of those elasticities in the bank), do not have a match.
  • by TheoMurpse ( 729043 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:34PM (#25695359) Homepage

    I seem to recall a lecturer visiting my hometown's community college and giving a genetics lecture. During the lecture he claimed that the plague caused a lot of people with the CCR5 receptor that HIV attacks to die off (the plague also attacks CCR5, allegedly), thus creating a non-trivial population of northwestern Europeans who are immune to HIV.

    What's the current status of this theory? Google returns quite a few hits, but as I'm not a geneticist, and technically haven't taken a biology class in 13 years, I'm not that qualified to filter out bunk.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:37PM (#25695381)
    Most of what I've read about so-called natural immunity isn't really immunity per-se. People with immunity still carry the HIV virus; It just doesn't turn into AIDS for a long time, but in a lot of cases, eventually it overcomes the immunity. Here's an article on one such study [BBC []].
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) < .ta. .rcj.> on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:39PM (#25695391) Journal

    BMT is a major, major procedure.

    With about 30% mortality, I've read.


  • by SlashBugs ( 1339813 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @01:59PM (#25695549)

    Background for non-biologists: HIV typically gains entry to cells by binding two molecules on the healthy cell surface. These are CXCR4 and CCR5. About 1% of white males (other genders/races vary slightly) don't have CCR5; they seem completely healthy and their cells are highly resistant to HIV infection. So blocking the activity of CCR5 seems like an easy way to stop viral infection with no exprected side effects. Tricky to do, but probably worth the effort.

    Anyway, the answer is "yes", sort of. Several antibodies and small peptides are in trials to block the CCR5 receptor; some are showing promise in animal trials.

    The most famous is Maraviroc, a small molecule that binds CCR5 and stops is from binding HIV. It's sold by Pfizer and currently in use as an anti-HIV drug.

    Another interesting possibility is gene therapy. Another group has recently made CD4 T cells (one of the cell types that HIV infects) express a small molecule to block their own CCR5 receptors, which works very well. I haven't seen a paper on it, but you should also be able to use similar techniques to completely shut down CCR5 production (using virus- or plasmid-borne shRNA, for example).

    Finally, another group has managed to make rabbits produce antibodies against CCR5 receptors (Vaccine
    Volume 26, Issue 45, 23 October 2008, Pages 5752-5759). Those antibodies are able to bind to CCR5 and completely block HIV infection, which is great. Stimulating an immune response against the patient's own immune cells sound a bit dodgey to me, but my immunology isn't great: maybe there's a well-established way around this problem that I just don't know about.

  • by geckipede ( 1261408 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:00PM (#25695557)
    Most of the drug treatments seemed like a viable strategy at one point. HIV mutates extremely rapidly though, and it seems able to bypass almost anything we can throw at it. If the new types of drugs can reduce the virus's ability to replicate effectively enough that it doesn't get an opportunity evolve a way round then in theory it could work. The problem with that is that you would need to administer the drug reliably on schedule for every infected person all the time and that doesn't happen. The treatments are expensive, and even worse, enough people see HIV/AIDS as some sort of punishment for promiscuity that some people are denied treatments intermittently because people don't feel comfortable giving it to them.
  • by Sethb ( 9355 ) <> on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:02PM (#25695571)
    23AndMe includes HIV Resistance [] in their battery of genetic tests.
  • Re:Monetization (Score:5, Informative)

    by SlashBugs ( 1339813 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:26PM (#25695745)

    Making money off of a disease which is very much kept in the vague, unclear, opaque situation is evil.
    Where is the reproducible proof that HIV exists?
    Where is the reproducible proof that HIV causes AIDS?

    Go to the (American-run but internationally funded and popular) National Centre for Biotechnology Information here: [] ...and type "HIV" into the search box. You'll get just under 192,000 peer-reviewd articles from groups all over the world, funded by various governments, public and private companies, charities and rich donors. Anything from HIV genome sequences and molecular sctructures through molecular biology, disease progression, transmission studies, all the way to local- regional- and global epidemiological studies. The evidence is pretty damn strong and well understood from the atomic level up to the global level.

    Altenatively, click on the "Reviews" tab and it'll give you a mere 24,000 articles assessing, collating and criticising the others. Have fun!

    True for HIV, True for HPV.
    True for whatever.

    When you've finsihsed the HIV evidence, feel free to look up the 15,000 HPV articles (or just 12,600 if you restrict your seach to "HPV AND cancer"). The HPV thing is actually very easy: most viruses carry genes evolved to push cells into their growth phase, because that forces the cells to release and synthesise resources that the virus must hijack to replicate. HPV-associated cancer happens when the viral gene gets incorporated into the cell's DNA (rare, but through well-established mechanisms) and get permanently switched on, making the cell grow and divide constantly. Any biology undergrad could tell you that if you asked. It's more common in the cervix simply because it's out of sight, and doesn't get noticed until it's really big and nasty. (Which is why all sexually actve women should be screened: catch it within the first 5 years and the cure rate is better than 98%. It's an easy cure if you *find* it)

    THINK first. Do your research.

    My undergraduate degree is in virology and I've just finished a PhD looking at how viruses interact with cancer and parts of the immune system. I've done plenty of thinking, and a hell of a lot o research. Now it's time for *you* to think, and for *you* to do some fucking research.

    You're no better than the creatioists who say that evolution's impossible but have never botheres to get a fcuking clue how it actually works.

  • by Lershac ( 240419 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:33PM (#25695787) Homepage

    TFA states that there was no need to do radiation. The new bone marrow just naturally took over as it was healthier

  • by Thiez ( 1281866 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:40PM (#25695841)

    Just because Hitler did something doesn't make it bad. I'm sure Hitler ate and drank, but does that make you a nazi when you have breakfast?

  • by Lershac ( 240419 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:42PM (#25695859) Homepage

    Weellll specifically ole Hitlers attempts to genetically purify mankind by removing classes of people are what is most hated about him... and thats what arth1 is proposing...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:44PM (#25695873)

    "Medical bills are such a quaint American concept."

    Thinking that "free" services provided by the government are actually free is such a quaint European concept.

  • by SlashBugs ( 1339813 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:46PM (#25695895)

    Depends how you choose to express the siRNA.

    Plasmids are generally pretty safe, if you pick one with decent copy-number control. Something like Epstein Barr virus' dormant plasmid would be pretty good, as it automatically keeps itself to just a few copies of itself per cell and constantly expresses a couple of RNA molecules. Just remove the viral genes and throw your shRNA in there under the same promoter... should work like a charm.

    There are also some viruses that always integrate into a specific, safe part of the genome. Adeno-associated virus, for example, always slots itself into the same site (somewhere on chromosome 19 IIRC?) and lies dormant. It has a tiny capacity for payload genes so is often ignored, but if you just want to express a few shRNAs it's be ideal.

    But yes, the radiation will still be a bitch. I've seen several patients going through it, who all agree that the treatment is better than the disease, but only just.

  • by FrkyD ( 545855 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:04PM (#25696045)
    true, just like the quaint idea that medical care shouldn't bankrupt you.
    Speaking as an American that's lived on both sides of the pond, with a mother in the states being nearly bankrupted by her cancer treatment and a mother-in-law in europe who had the same level of care with no added costs, I know which system I prefer.
  • by andot ( 714926 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:12PM (#25696111)
    Bone marrow removing is not very painful. It basically chemotherapy and all needed cells are collected from blood not from bones. I have been bone marrow donor for myself. Read about it []
  • by SlashBugs ( 1339813 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:19PM (#25696181)

    If it makes you feel better, I'm at the end of a PhD in the field. So I know more about HIV and AIDS than most of the population and, indeed, am one of the "phoney researchers" who generates the same data that I am, apparrantly, ignoring.

    Tell us - what's your Ph.D. in?

    Try getting your science from reputable schools or journals rather than mass-market paperbacks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 09, 2008 @03:58PM (#25696525)

    Well the GP of this post is not completely off. What they may be referring to is the fact that one prominent researcher's study came to the conclusion that HIV was not highly correlated to AIDS which suggested that HIV was not the causing the AIDS. Immediately he was kicked out of the scientific community as they stated that he should be jailed for life for trying to disprove a current hypothesis (which is the point of being scientific).

    However they are definatley wrong when they suggest that HIV and AIDS don't exist. They just may be related in a confounding sort of way ;)

  • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Sunday November 09, 2008 @04:01PM (#25696553) Homepage Journal

    Black Death is not a virus. It is a bacterium. Yersinia pestis.

  • by blitziod ( 591194 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @04:14PM (#25696679)
    dude bone marrow is collected then cultured. you take a little from a donor then grow it. you really only need a few donors to produce a lot over time.
  • by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Sunday November 09, 2008 @04:21PM (#25696735) Homepage Journal

    On the contrary, bone marrow transplants are the cheapest transplants.

    In essence, bone marrow transplantation is just an intravenous injection.

    This is accurate, but misleading. Bone marrow transplants are cheap as transplants go, but they're still very expensive. The IV injection of the transplant is no big deal, but before it can be done the recipient's own marrow must be destroyed by chemotherapy or radiation treatments, and after the transplant the patient has to be on immunosuppresives and receive regular transfusions until the new bone marrow can establish itself. During that time, the patient also has no immune system, and must be in a hospital or other sterile environment.

    The whole process takes 1-2 months, and is far from cheap.

  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Sunday November 09, 2008 @04:39PM (#25696885)

    What they may be referring to is the fact that one prominent researcher's study came to the conclusion that HIV was not highly correlated to AIDS which suggested that HIV was not the causing the AIDS. Immediately he was kicked out of the scientific community as they stated that he should be jailed for life for trying to disprove a current hypothesis (which is the point of being scientific).

    Are you talking about Peter Duesberg [], by any chance?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 09, 2008 @05:01PM (#25697057)

    It's rather simple then, actually.

    If it is a known mutation, CCR5, which leads to the immunity... we take a patients bone marrow, isolate the short-lived hematopoietic stem cells... engineer them to have the mutated CCR5 version instead of the wild type... reintroduce modified bone marrow into patient.

    No MHC match issues. A difficulty is a targeted mutation method, which thousands of researchers are working on. Showing safety in humans is the really hard step.

    I expect this procedure should be done with several different HIV-resistence alleles to have the least chance of the virus developing resistence to the therapy.

    I am a molecular biologist, but post AC due to personal privacy policy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 09, 2008 @05:18PM (#25697175)

    I can't comment on the relative cost of a BMT to other types of transplants, but to say that a BMT is just an intravenous injection is completely misleading.

    An (allogeneic) BMT is essentially the replacement of a recipient's immune system with the immune system of a donor. Before implanting the donor's immune system (which literally is an IV infusion of hemapoetic stem cells) the recipient's own immune system has to be destroyed. This is done with high-dose, whole-body radiation and high-dose chemotherapy, which have numerous, serious side effects. Once the recipient's immune system is destroyed (the treatment's intended effect) they are at extremely high risk of contracting potentially-fatal infections, and for this reason they are hospitalized in special 'clean' BMT units with extremely close monitoring for an extended period of time. It takes many weeks before the transplant (hopefully) engrafts, and then many more months before the new immune system is fully functioning. Once engraftment occurs there is high-probability of acquiring graft-versus-host (GVH) disease (potentially fatal) and this is managed through the use of immunosupressants and close monitoring as an outpatient for many months after the transplant. The good news here is that the immune system usually becomes tolerant of the recipient's body (the graft sees all of the host's tissue as foreign) and the immunosuppressants are eventually not needed, unlike the case for organ transplants.

    So is a BMT just an intravenous injection? I think not.

    I'm speaking from personal experience; my daughter recently underwent a BMT. The cost? approaching $1M.

  • by kchrist ( 938224 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @05:47PM (#25697441) Homepage

    While I agree wholeheartedly that pharmacists do not have the authority nor the right to refuse to fill valid prescriptions, that doesn't change the fact that it's a well-documented problem []. One pharmacy in Virginia even advertises the fact [].

  • Quick answer (Score:5, Informative)

    by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @06:25PM (#25697725) Homepage

    STD cases are rising every year (NON-CUMULATIVE figures, of course), yet where are all the teenagers dying from 'AIDS'?

    The fast answer is that HIV is not a highly contagious disease. In fact, compared to something like measles -- or HPV or active herpes -- it is actually quite difficult to catch HIV. The reason we focus so much attention on it, however, is because unlike herpes or genital warts, you die from it.

    That is, until recently. Compared to 1981, we have quite a lot of experience treating AIDS. In fact, the clinical definition of AIDS an HIV-positive patient with fewer than 200 T-cells per cubic millimeter of blood. By definition, if we can stop your T-cells from dying, you don't get AIDS. (But if we stop treating you, you do.)

    Other than that, it's 2008. To say that HIV does not cause AIDS at this late stage in the game is akin to denying evolution. The amount of scientific evidence linking HIV to AIDS is simply overwhelming.

    I'm not at the tail end of a PhD in biology or anything close, but even I know this much. You do yourself a disservice by approaching scientific topics with blinkers on.

  • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @06:43PM (#25697883) Homepage

    Well the GP of this post is not completely off. What they may be referring to is the fact that one prominent researcher's study came to the conclusion that HIV was not highly correlated to AIDS which suggested that HIV was not the causing the AIDS. Immediately he was kicked out of the scientific community as they stated that he should be jailed for life for trying to disprove a current hypothesis (which is the point of being scientific).

    Part of your claim is mostly true. A prominent researcher (Peter Duesberg) did assert that HIV was not the cause of AIDS. His claims were not based on correlation between AIDS and HIV, however, because all prominent studies show an extremely high correlation -- people with AIDS invariably have HIV. Duesberg's argument was that correlation did not equal causation.

    The second part of your claim is inflammatory and inaccurate. It is possible that some individuals expressed the sentiment that Duesberg should be jailed; this would be their own personal opinions. But Duesberg was not "drummed out of the scientific community" by any means. To this day he remains a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at UC Berkeley. []

  • by Bottlemaster ( 449635 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @06:54PM (#25697983)

    and if you don't like the idea of the conscience clause you're not alone.

    I don't like the idea of a conscience clause, because nobody should need to give an excuse (such as conflict with religion or conscience) to avoid litigation for refusing services.

    unfortunately, freedom of religion in the U.S. has turned into freedom to subject others to your religion.

    It's not "subjecting others to your religion". It's denial, and it's an important part of voluntary human relations. It simply doesn't matter if religion is behind it. Forcing doctors to perform procedures against their will is slavery.

  • by redcaboodle ( 622288 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @07:15PM (#25698115)

    They can't be vectors because the viruses have no chance to multiply in their bodies and die fast.

    Same thing as with other viral diseases like measles, flu oder German measles. If you get the inoculation ratio high enough you have herd immunity. It's how smallpox was eradicated. Measles are supposed to go next. Flu has too many varieties for this to work but I hear a new vaccine is under development that works with all strains.

  • by Mutatis Mutandis ( 921530 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @07:38PM (#25698283)

    Excellent post, but I would just like to add a few more caveats. As you probably know, but most people certainly don't, HIV occurs in a wide range of variant strains, which use either CD4 and CXCR4 or CD4 and CCR5. This is a property called "tropism" and HIV strains are classified as X4 or R5 tropic.

    But actually, from the data I have seen, few viruses exhibit a really pure tropism. There are a lot of dual-tropic X4R5 virus strains that have some flexibility to use CXCR4 or CCR5 as the opportunity offers itself; this is not surprising, as one variant must be capable of evolving into the other. Also, all patients carry diverse virus populations, because HIV is so sloppy in replicating itself, and a patient may well have 99.9% of R5-tropic viruses and 0.1% of X4-tropic viruses. (0.1% is about the limit of what can be detected with current, and very expensive, methods.)

    This is cause for concern. A treatment that blocks the replication of R5-tropic viruses may well favour the replication of X4 strains. There already are indications that this happens in some patients on maraviroc treatment. Driving a virus population to become entirely X4 tropic would probably not be advisable, as there is reason to believe that these strains do more damage. The X4-tropic HIV strains are generally associated with the late stages of infection and the development of AIDS.

    Therefore I doubt that anyone is going to advocated bone marrow transplants as a way to treat HIV. The risk is just too big, because this form of treatment is (almost) irreversible. Treatment with maravoric should always be preceded by tropism testing, and can be stopped if it doesn't work.

    Finally, 2 years of undetectable viral load in absence of ARV treatment is an impressive result, but IMHO it is still too early to call the patient cured. He may well still have proviral DNA in his cells.

  • by Lershac ( 240419 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @07:41PM (#25698299) Homepage

    by removing choice from others, you are playing god you jackass.

    What you are proposing would be akin to sterilising anyone who has undergone any sort of life-saving procedure. jackass. asshat. Hitler wanabe and cannot even stand up and proclaim it. weak.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 09, 2008 @07:49PM (#25698351)

    Maraviroc (and Vicriviroc etc) resistance also occurs. Then there is the matter of tropism and the
    CXCR4 receptor. Chemokine Coreceptor 5 moleculer antagonists are not a panacea for HIV, neither
    is BMT as the HIV exists in cells outside of the BM. Things are not as simple as this article
    suggests. []

  • by lysergic.acid ( 845423 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @08:15PM (#25698543) Homepage

    i think one of the "protections" given to pharmacists by the conscience clause is that employees cannot be fired or otherwise punished for refusing to fill a prescription based on religious grounds. from Wikipedia []:

    Conscience clauses are clauses in laws in some parts of the United States which permit pharmacists, physicians, and other providers of health care not to provide certain medical services for reasons of religion or conscience. Those who choose not to provide services may not be disciplined or discriminated against.
    Corporate Policy

    Some pharmacies in U.S. jurisdictions with conscience clauses, including CVS and Target, allow pharmacists to choose, without penalty, not to dispense birth control pills. Target requires the objecting pharmacist to recommend another Target location that will dispense the medication.

  • by Miseph ( 979059 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @08:20PM (#25698581) Journal

    It is very widely believed that the VERY slow response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic was inspired by the widespread belief that it is simply punishment for the sins of promiscuity, homosexuality and drug abuse. I don't know where you've been, but that's hardly an accusation from far left field.

    There are also confirmed cases of nations refusing to take any action, or permit any treatment for HIV/AIDS on precisely those grounds. Not first world industrials, mind you, but even third world African dirt farms doing it is abhorrent.

  • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @09:13PM (#25698993) Homepage

    Words fail me. The DEFINITION of AIDS REQUIRES the patient to be 'HIV positive' in order for them to be diagnosed with 'AIDS'... i.e. it's a circular argument, moron...

    Well, that's Koch's Postulates for you. If an organism has a disease and you can isolate a pathogen from that organism and then culture that pathogen outside the organism, then introduce that pathogen to another organism and the new organism exhibits the same disease... well, if you can do that, then Koch might say you're onto something. (This HAS been done with HIV/AIDS, by the way.)

    By your logic, if the definition of having the flu requires that the patient be infected with a strain of the influenza virus, then it's a circular argument to claim that influenza causes the flu. So long as influenza can be isolated from any organism that doesn't have sniffles, then influenza must not cause flu.

    Or to put it even more simply for you retards: TB death - HIV = TB death TB death WITH HIV = 'AIDS'

    It is you who are making the circular argument. It is entirely possible to die of tuberculosis without having a compromised immune system -- in fact, it happens all the time -- and these deaths would not be classified as AIDS. A tuberculosis patient who does not mount an immune response is an anomaly, and then doctors must investigate why there is no immune response. Tuberculosis is not caused by a virus, and does not attack immune system cells, therefore a low T-cell count is not considered a symptom of tuberculosis. HIV is a virus and HIV has been shown to attack immune cells, therefore when a patient with both tuberculosis and HIV dies of tuberculosis after having failed to mount an immune response, it seems only logical to suspect HIV. But you argue that HIV does not cause AIDS, and in fact HIV is a harmless virus, and therefore someone who dies of TB with a compromised immune system who also has HIV could not have failed to mount an immune response because of HIV. What, then is the reason for the lack of immune response?

    All the scientific evidence proves, beyond ANY doubt, that 'AIDS' is not a sexually transmitted disease, that 'AIDS' 'medications' are what kill people in the West

    How? How does it prove this? Please explain, because so far it doesn't seem as if you're adequately informed.

    The article you cite is extremely easy to rebut. Like Duseberg's original claims, it does not cite any research later than 1997. HIV/AIDS research has come a long, long way since then. Furthermore, the article only focuses on research into AIDS cases in the U.S. Its hypothesis is that AIDS is caused by the use of AZT and other drugs, including recreational drugs. It furthermore claims that almost all AIDS is found in homosexual men and heterosexual drug abusers. The implication is that behaviors, including sex between men and drug use, are the cause of AIDS.

    How does this article explain the AIDS epidemic in Africa, where AIDS is far, far more prevalent than in the U.S.? During the height of the African epidemic, Africans did not have access to AZT or similar drugs, nor did they use cocaine and amyl poppers in any great prevalence. Furthermore, in Africa the AIDS epidemic is primarily a disease of heterosexuals, including females.

    How does a behavior-based cause of AIDS explain cases of AIDS in children and hemophiliacs?

    How does this theory of AIDS explain why HIV+ patients have had longer lifespans since the beginning of the HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) era? If, as you claim, the cause of AIDS is in fact the drugs designed to cure it, then why does giving patients a combination of many such drugs make them live longer than they did when they had just one such drug (AZT)?

    Of course, none of you will bother reading it, because you might have to THINK, and you would literally rather DIE, wouldn't you?

    I have read it. It is you who are not thinking. In f

  • by Bottlemaster ( 449635 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @10:06PM (#25699281)

    if your religion prevents you from performing the responsibilities of a medical professional, then you probably shouldn't be a doctor/nurse/pharmacist/etc. and AFAIK, pharmacists can quit their jobs or switch to a different occupation any time they want. no one is forcing them to be a pharmacist.

    As far as I know, customers can patronize the pharmacists of their choice.

    if you think that your religious freedoms include the right to deny someone else the medication they've been prescribed by their physician, then you are part of the reason why the conscience clause exists. freedom/liberty doesn't mean you have the right to do whatever you want regardless of the consequences it has on others.

    Liberty means you have the right to do whatever you want as long as you don't violate the rights of others. Nobody has a right to a pharmacist's products unless the pharmacist agrees to exchange them.

    and by your definition of slavery, then anyone living in a society governed by the rule of law is a slave.

    The definition is the generally accepted one. And you're right.

    if an on duty police officer sees a crime in progress they have a legal responsibility to step in, otherwise it may be criminal negligence

    Do a little research. In the United States, at least, there's a huge amount of legislation and court precedence to the effect that police have absolutely no legal responsibility to stop crimes. Legally speaking, they have no more duty than the rest of us, but they can, of course, be fired for their negligence.

  • by DebateG ( 1001165 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @11:01PM (#25699599)
    A variation in the CCR5 gene, called CCR5 delta32, confers immunity if you have two copies of the gene (remember, you get one copy from each of your parents). It's been known for a while that this is associated with AIDS resistance, so there have been many large cross-sectional studies to look at the population frequency. Although it is possible that the gene is more widespread in certain populations, it's still rare (10% in white of European descent, 2% in Asians); remember you must have *both* copies of the gene to be resistant to AIDS only ~1% of Europeans have that. The only way you'd know is to have the test for that specific mutation, and as far as I know, it's not really widely used clinically. Like I said, the main problem is that the bone marrow registries are quite small, and you can't find suitable matches for people based on their MHC matching. The chance of finding one of those isn't particularly good. You have to multiple that times the probability of having the right CCR5 type and we're talking pretty rare.
  • by SlashBugs ( 1339813 ) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:28AM (#25702557)

    The drug is Granulocyte Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF) if anyone wants to look it up. It's just a growth hormone that you have produced in your body naturally. They just give you a *lot* of it, causing your stem cells to start dividing. Some stay in your bone marrow, the excess cells move out into the bloodstream, from which they can be painlessly extracted.

    I know someone who's had cells extracted that way, and she described it like Marrow (very apt name!) does. The hormone treatment made her feel like she had a cold coming for about a week, and the extraction procedure (required about 2 hours sitting in a comfy chair) was just "really boring".

    If you sign up to be a bone marrow donor (you should if you can! Brits check out the Anthony Nolan Trust), that's what you're signing up to do: feel like you have a mild cold, be bored for two hours and hopefully save someone's life.

    Very rarely (more common in people 50+) the drug doesn't work well and they do ask if they ca take your cells directly from the bone. I know a woman who had this done too. She stayed in hospital for 2 days after, rested in bed for another 2 days and was back in work after a week. It wasn't great fun, but it healed up perfectly and painlessly after a few weeks. She said it was definately worth it to try saving someone's life.

  • by MazzThePianoman ( 996530 ) on Monday November 10, 2008 @09:35AM (#25702635) Homepage
    There is a national version of a "conscience clause" in the works and it allows anybody involved with medical care, from ambulance drivers to doctors, to deny service based on their own personal beliefs. The 2008 bill expands this provision to include "care" as an activity that an organization may refuse to provide based on a moral or religious objection. This will allow organizations who receive U.S. funds to deny services to those whose behavior, identity, religion, or other attributes may be deemed objectionable. [] Scary stuff

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