Re: diseases and immunity

paul manansala (
7 Jul 1996 16:44:38 GMT

In <> James Howard <> writes:
>I posted to this thread some time back that the levels of testosterone in
>individuals is directly involved in the effectiveness of the immune
>system. I also pointed out that testosterone increases in every society
>as a result of sexual activity, and this produces the "secular trend."
>The Associated Press released the infection rates of the HIV in this
>country, as part of the coverage of the latest international conference
>on AIDS. The findings are that the HIV infects: 1 in every 50 black men;
>1 in every 100 Hispanic men; 1 in every 250 white men; 1 in every 160
>black women; and 1 in every 3,000 white women.

This forwarded message should help dispell some myths about AIDS (in
Africa at least):

----begin forwarded message----

By Neville Hodgkinson

The Sunday Times (London) 22 May 1994

AN authoritative new study has uncovered powerful evidence that
"AIDS test" is scientifically invalid, misleading millions into
believing they are HIV positive when they are not infected with

The findings, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases,
provide practical evidence that HIV tests may be triggered by
factors, such as leprosy and tuberculosis. They have heightened
concerns that the spread of AIDS in Africa has been wildly

The discovery was made by a team headed by Dr Max Essex of Harvard
University's School of Public Health and a highly respected AIDS
expert. One of the originators of the hypothesis linking HIV with
AIDS, Essex was also a leading exponent of the theory that the
originated in Africa.

Essex, working with scientists from the University of Kinshasa and
the health ministry in Zaire, stumbled across the apparent flaws
the tests during an investigation into whether leprosy patients,
those in close contact with them, were at increased risk of being
infected with HIV.

After detailed examination of 57 patients, using more precise
testing methods than usual, the team decided only two were
HIV and none of a group of 39 contacts. But about 70% of the
patients and 30% of the contacts were HIV positive, according to
leading versions of Elisa, the most common test.

The team also found that another, supposedly more sophisticated
kit called Western Blot was equally unreliable. It gave a positive
reaction in 85% of the patients who were negative with the other

After laboratory investigations, the scientists concluded that
proteins from the leprosy germ to which millions of Africans are
exposed were causing cross-reactions with the HIV test, creating
false positives.

Because of this, the researchers said that the Elisa and Western
Blot tests, mainstay of HIV testing worldwide, "may not be
sufficient for HIV diagnosis in AIDS-endemic areas of central Africa
where the prevalence of mycobacterial diseases is quite high".

The findings provide dramatic support for a report last year in the
journal Bio/Technology, in which Australian scientists conclude that
the "HIV test" had never been properly evaluated, misleading
cross-reactions were common and the test was meaningless except as a
marker for many illnesses.

The Australian report showed that although most healthy people test
negative, many of those facing chronic challenges to the immune
system that have nothing to do with HIV were liable to produce a
positive result. It cited evidence that these challenges probably
included some of the conditions known to lead to AIDS, such as
chronic drug abuse, repeated transfusions of blood or blood
products, and multiple infections.

Eleni Eleopulos, a medical physicist and AIDS researcher who led the
Australian team, said the study "confirms that we have to question
all the HIV tests, especially in AIDS patients who have all types of
infectious agents in them".

Dr John Papadimitriou, professor of pathology at the University of
Western Australia in Perth and a co-author of the Bio/Technology
study, said the Zaire research demonstrated that the HIV tests were
inadequate: "Why condemn a continent to death because of HIV, when
you have other explanations for why people are falling sick?"

African doctors have also begun to question the orthodox view:
"Europeans and Americans came to Africa with prejudiced minds, so
they are seeing what they wanted to see," said Professor PAK Addy,
head of clinical microbiology at the University of Science and
Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.

In an interview in New African magazine, he said: "I've known for a
long time that AIDS is not a crisis in Africa as the world is being
made to understand. But in Africa it is very difficult to stick your
neck out and say certain things.

"The West came out with those frightening statistics on AIDS in
Africa because it was unaware of certain social and clinical
conditions. In most of Africa, infectious diseases, particularly
parasitic infections, are common. And there are other conditions
that can easily compromise or affect one's immune system."

He added: "The diagnosis itself, merely being told you have AIDS,
enough to kill, and is killing people."