CCR5 and Protection from AIDS

James P. Mone jmone at MARAUDER.MILLERSV.EDU
Tue Dec 8 09:07:12 EST 1998

The study you cite, and its interpretations, in no way establishes a
causal link between testosterone levels and incidence of either HIV-1
infection or AIDS. Are castrated males more susceptible than their fertile
counterparts?   One could postulate that decreased estrogen production
is responsible for the higher incidence on NEW infections in males vs
females.  Or perhaps menstrual cycles are the answer.  Again just because
event A precedes event B, it doesn't mean that A causes B!

Biology is seldom as simple as a one to one relationship.  There can be no
doubt that susceptibility to HIV infection, as well as rate of progression
to disease is a function of many different factors, some specific to the
individual host, and some specific to the virus.  To date, the CCR5 et al.
story provides the only rigorously tested identification of a genetic
factor which alters the progression of AIDS.  If testosterone levels are
truely significant, it would be relatively simple to produce the evidence
which could withstand peer review.  I have yet to see this evidence.

Jay M.C

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