"AIDS Treatment News" online * New Issue #302 (searchable/indexed)

Marnix L. Bosch marnix at u.washington.edu
Fri Oct 30 14:57:31 EST 1998

In article <363a0c6a.331743786 at netnews.worldnet.att.net>,
johnburgin at worldnet.att.net wrote:

> On Fri, 30 Oct 1998 11:47:41 -0700, marnix at u.washington.edu (Marnix L.
> Bosch) wrote:

> >For pregnant women that are HIV-1 infected I would still like to see a
> >viral load test

> Why would you want to look at a bunch of dead virus?  Remember, Mullis
> says(kind of like Simon says, it's his test you know), "Quantitave PCR
> is an oxymoron".

I don't care whether the virus is dead or alive. It's just an independent
measure of infection

> , but I understand
> You don't have a clue as to what you just said.  The "study" that
> precipitated the advocacy of using AZT with HIV+ pregnant women
> indicated that there was a 50% reduction in the incidence of HIV+
> offspring(I think that's the impersonal scientific terminology you
> would prefer).  Narrowing this down so that we can understand that 50%
> isn't always 50%.  The CDC's own statistics show that there is,
> without any poison being added to the diet of the HIV+ mother, a 25%
> chance that the child will be HIV +.  You, divide that figure in half
> and you get 12.5%.  Now, that's interesting, isn't it.  We give 100%
> of the fetuses and mothers poison so that MAYBE only 12.5% will be
> born with a serological marker that doesn't mean anything.

Indeed antibody tests in newborns are meaningless since they also show
presence of maternal antibodies. Which is why these tests aren't applied
to newborns to assess infection status. 

Actually AZT would only be given to HIV-1 positive mothers, not 100% of
mothers and fetuses. This should (my opinion) be done after proper
counseling and (no brainer) under medical supervision, with consent from
the mother. The risk of HIV-1 transmission outweighs the risk of short
term AZT treatment. Any evidence to the contrary ?

>  that the risk of the baby to get
> >infected is greater than the risk to the mother from short term AZT
> >treatment.
> Wake up Marnix!  The prophylaxis isn't for the mom, it's for the kid!

Well duh ! Please insert (after 'mother') ... and child ... obove.

> . If you're going to hung for citations maybe
> >you could provide a few that show that the advocated (short term)
> >treatment in both of these situations is adversarial to the health of the
> >individuals under treatment. 
> Is this one of those can't prove a negative kind of situations.  O.k.
> I can't prove dragons don't exist, you win.

The question is not about proof, it's about evidence. Read it again
please. Are you saying you already know such citations don't exist ? Then
I don't understand why you argue against such treatments.
> >
> >>  As for your question: such a person would have
> >> >antibodies to the viral proteins contained in the vaccine prep. This could
> >> >label him/her seropositive. 
> >> Thank you
> >> Various proposals are under discussion as to
> >> >how to distinguish this status from true seropositivity resulting from
> >> >infection.
> >> Yes, I'm sure we at Reappraising AIDS and HEAL would love to know how
> >> that is going to be done.
> >
> >Some proposals would include a unique antigen irrelevant to HIV-1, others
> >would exclude certain HIV antigens. Both have their drawbacks. What would
> >you advocate ?

> Dropping the entire argument that HIV=AIDS, 

Or that the earth is round ? Or that smoking causes cancer ? 

> educating people on the
> hazards of drug abuse, enforcing drug trafficking laws and severely
> penalizing those that do. 

And legalize soft drugs

> Keep people off of meds prophylactically
> that promote promiscuous behavior. 

Which meds are these ?

> Stop scaring the crap out of
> doctors who don't know whether to touch an HIV + or PWA or scream and
> run.  

Doctors have enough training to educate themselves. If the above is true
it's in the face of arguments that would advocate the opposite

>In short, be responsible and logical and scientific, and
> Christian and whatever theological tenent that espouses the virtues of
> monogamy, abstinence from drugs(street drugs, hallucinogenic drugs and
> performance enhancing drugs.  Stop ostracizing the gay community that
> just wants to be gay  by making them look like lepers unless they
> become fringers who aren't even tolerated by the mainstream gays.
> That isn't very scientific, is it?

Again, speaking for myself, I think that people that ostracize the gay
community because of AIDS are bigoted to begin with and just use HIV as a
convenient (but misdirected, no surprise) argument

> >I'm talking about recombinant proteins. Ask your educated pathology
> >buddies about them.
> I can think of better things to do.

Figures. You're not much into education, are you ?

> >> But, I do appreciate the "kinder" tone of your chastisement this time.
> >> Thank you for being somewhat civil. jb
> >
> >Your inclusion of terms like 'asshole', and 'genocidal' makes civility
> >somewhat one-sided sometimes. 
> I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt YOUR feelings.  I do slip every once
> in a while when I'm trying to SAVE LIVES.

Oh bother. In your blind crusade you seem to miss the argument put to you
here that you're actually endangering lives. If you were so concerned you
would at lestopen yourself to arguments presented to you. And rest
assured, your name-calling does little to my feelings, and your frequent
use of the tactic as a last resort followed by complaints aout lack of
civlity towards you is somewhat ridiculous.

> Indeed the risk of forgery of vaccination
> >documents and the like could jeopardize career prospects or mortgage
> >applications of goodwilling vaccinated individuals.
> Thank you.
>  However it is also in
> >the best interest of eg mortgage companies to reduce the chance of someone
> >they're ponying up the money for to become infected with HIV-1. Thus, they
> >would love to have their whole 'population' vaccinated against HIV-1.
> So would I, then the issue would be dropped.
> >What's your solution ? Stop all vaccination efforts
> yes, for that issue.  That would suit me just fine.  
> , or trying to deal
> >with the issues you bring up ?
> Read about the real lives of people who go through the ostracism of
> being HIV+.  Imagine that it were you and you didn't have any risk
> factors typically associated with becoming HIV+.  Simplify this issue
> for the non braniacs who might be cruising this newsgroup for some
> help. jb

But what if it isn't simple ?

Marnix Bosch

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