HIV As Sole Cause Of AIDS Challenged

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For almost a quarter-century the AIDS establishment has drummed into our heads that the HIV virus is the sole cause of AIDS, an epidemic that has already killed more than 25 million people worldwide since 1981. AIDS research is entirely consumed with the development and sale of expensive "anti-virals", which many can't afford.

A few adventurous researchers have suggested that there is more to AIDS than simply "a virus." Some research, most of it totally ignored, points to bacteria (also mycoplasma-like bacteria) as an important and necessary "co-factor" for the development of HIV infection into "full- blown AIDS." In this latter category, oddly enough, falls some of the research of the initial discoverer of HIV itself, Luc Montagnier.

According to one website, 2,543 scientists and educators have expressed doubts that "HIV" causes AIDS ( Nevertheless, the mantra that "HIV is the sole cause of AIDS" is so well-known and accepted universally that any suggestion to the contrary is usually met with disdain by the AIDS establishment. One notable example of this disdain was provided by noted AIDS retroviral researcher David Ho, M.D., TIME magazine's Man of the Year in 1996, when he famously declared to detractors: "It's the virus, stupid!"

Despite this lack of interest in bacteria as a cause of AIDS, there is published evidence in the medical journals that TB-like bacteria are indeed implicated as primary agents in AIDS. Such research continues to be ignored or condemned. But recently, foremost publisher of world medical literature, Elsevier, who's Journals include the Lancet , published another look at this controversial subject, in a peer-reviewed paper which appeared in August of 2008 on PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

This review, co-authored by Lawrence Broxmeyer MD and Alan Cantwell Jr., MD strongly suggests there is more to AIDS than what we have been told. Cantwell's research has previously found its way into prominent publications such as Growth, the International Journal of Dermatology, the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology and Archives of Dermatology whereas Broxmeyer's AIDS work includes a benchmark study in The Journal of Infectious Diseases and a provocative paper entitled "Is AIDS really caused by a virus?"

Attached below is the abstract of Broxmeyer and Cantwell's paper:

1: Med Hypotheses. 2008 Aug 8.

AIDS: "It's the bacteria, stupid!"
Broxmeyer, Lawrence; Cantwell Jr., Alan.

Acid-fast tuberculous mycobacterial infections are common in AIDS and are regarded as secondary "opportunistic infections." According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, TB is the major attributable cause of death in AIDS patients. Could such bacteria play a primary or causative role in AIDS? Certainly, In screening tests for HIV, there is frequent, up to 70%, cross-reactivity, between the gag and pol proteins of HIV and patients with mycobacterial infections such as tuberculosis. By 1972, five years before gays started dying in the U.S., Rolland wrote Genital Tuberculosis, a Forgotten Disease? And ironically, in 1979, on the eve of AIDS recognition, Gondzik and Jasiewicz showed that even in the laboratory, genitally infected tubercular male guinea pigs could infect healthy females through their semen by an HIV-compatible ratio of 1 in 6 or 17%, prompting him to warn his patients that not only was tuberculosis a sexually transmitted disease, but also the necessity of the application of suitable contraceptives, such as condoms, to avoid it. Gondzik's solution and date of publication are chilling; his findings significant. Since 1982 Cantwell et al found acid-fast bacteria closely related to tuberculosis (TB) and atypical tuberculosis in AIDS tissue. On the other hand molecular biologist and virologist Duesberg, who originally defined retroviral ultrastructure, has made it clear that HIV is not the cause of AIDS and that the so-called AIDS retrovirus has never been isolated in its pure state. Dr. Etienne de Harven, first to examine retroviruses under the electron, agrees. In 1993 HIV co-discoverer Luc Montagnier reported on cell-wall-deficient (CWD) bacteria which he called "mycoplasma" in AIDS tissue. He suspected these as a necessary "co-factor" for AIDS. Remarkably, Montagnier remained silent on Cantwell's reports of acid-fast bacteria which could simulate "mycoplasma" in AIDS tissue. Mattman makes clear that the differentiation between mycoplasma and CWD bacteria is difficult at best and cites Pachas's 1985 study wherein one mycoplasma was actually mistaken for a CWD form of a bacterium closely related to the mycobacteria. It is important to realize that the statement "HIV is the sole cause of AIDS" is just a hypothesis. There are unanswered questions and controversy concerning the role of HIV "as the sole cause of AIDS." And until they are resolved, a cure is not possible. This paper explores the possible role of acid-fast tuberculous mycobacteria as "primary agents" in AIDS.
PMID: 18691828 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Thus the roots of Broxmeyer and Cantwell's argument lie unexpectedly deep in the history of the AIDS establishment itself . Even before Ho's 1996 declaration bolstering a sole viral cause for AIDS, HIV's original pioneer, Luc Montagnier, working out of Pasteur in Paris, reported on bacteria (via culture and biochemical techniques) in the form of mycoplasma (Cell Wall Deficient or CWD bacteria) as a suspected necessary co-factor in AIDS. This 'co-factor' theory was, in effect, Montagnier's way of admitting that HIV, the virus he had discovered, wasn't virulent enough in itself to even approach what happened in AIDS. But at the same time, remarkably, he remained silent on co-author Cantwell's reports of acid-fast, tuberculosis-like bacteria which could simulate "mycoplasma" in AIDS tissue.

Lost in the history of microbiology is the concept of a "tuberculosis virus." A century ago, in 1908, Hans Much first described the tiniest virus-like granules of TB bacteria, which eventually became known as "Much's granules," the precise nature of which remains controversial to this day. Two years later A. Fontes proved the granules were filterable, meaning they were able to pass through laboratory filters designed to hold back bacteria. As they were both too small to be seen microscopically, and at the same time passed through filters, they soon became known as the TB 'virus'.

AIDS dissidents question whether HIV is truly a virus, as well as the significance, accuracy and specificity of the HIV blood test. It should be noted that the manufacturers of the various HIV blood tests never claimed 100% specificity. A positive HIV test should be viewed as a starting point for physicians to follow-up with further blood tests to determine the immune system's status and the number of T cells in a patient suspected of having HIV. However, tuberculosis, according to Hirsch's 1999 study in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, can also drastically decrease the number of the body's T cells. A "positive" HIV test can be encountered in someone who is not infected with HIV. This can be due to "cross-reactivity". According to Kashala, false-positive HIV tests can occur in up to 70% of patients infected with acid-fast mycobacteria such as TB or leprosy.

Furthermore, the question arises as to whether "pure" cultures of HIV contain cellular elements and/or CWD/bacteria such as those found in tuberculosis? Etienne de Haven, M.D., first to examine retroviruses such as HIV under the electron microscope, thinks so. He insists that so-called HIV purified cultures are contaminated with cellular debris, and that he has never been able to visualize any retroviral particle in the blood of an AIDS patient, even those with a very high "viral load."

But what about pictures of HIV widely promoted in the media? According to de Harven, "These pictures are extremely attractive, and are frequently rich in artificial colors. They clearly exemplify the danger of misinforming the public with computer graphics. To publish such images brings to the attention of the general public, and of the medical profession as well, an apparently crystal-clear message: 'Yes, HIV has been isolated since one can portray it under the electron microscope.' All these images represent computerized rationalizations and embellishments of actual electron microscopic pictures….but not one of these pictures originated directly from one single AIDS patient! They all originated from complex cell cultures prepared in various laboratories, cultures that have been described as 'real retroviral soups'." De Harven concludes: HIV has never been properly isolated, nor purified, and consequently, the HIV/AIDS hypothesis has to be fundamentally reappraised.

Microbiologist and electron microscopist Phyllis Evelyn Pease, author of AIDS, Cancer and Arthritis: A New Perspective (2005), agrees with de Harven. She takes issue with the new techniques of molecular biologists and virologists, by stating, "Reliability has been placed on physical/chemical techniques, which are greatly favored by biochemists but which are not suitable for microbiological materials unaccompanied by microscopic methods." The result of this simplistic approach is that it has been accompanied by the virtual abandonment of that sine qua non for a properly trained microbiologist, the microscope, and in the case of filterable forms of bacteria and viruses, this means the electron microscope.

In a review essay of Pease's book, former London Times science editor Neville Hodgkinson concludes "Pease's book is the most authoritative and microscopically precise account to date of the failings of the HIV theory of AIDS." (

It is important to realize, Broxmeyer and Cantwell emphasize, that the statement "HIV is the sole cause of AIDS" is a hypothesis, and that this hypothesis was hastily thrown together in the face of an epidemic emergency.

Bacterial cells and human cells routinely exchange genetic material via "horizontal" transmission using their bacteriophage viruses. Nevertheless, scientists still seem content to regard viruses and bacteria as separate and distinct from one other. Yet there is still much to be learned regarding the pathogenesis of AIDS and health professionals should keep an open mind on the matter of retrovirus versus cell-wall-deficient tuberculous mycobacteria.

Summing up their thoughts, Cantwell and Broxmeyer forecast the day when an important AIDS researcher will take the stage, with assurance and fervor similar to Ho's to declare: "It's the bacteria, stupid!"


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Joel Binder
NY institute of Research
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