HIV causes AIDS and modern antiretroviral drugs extend quality of life and reduce AIDS related mortality. Kelly Brogan MD does not believe that HIV is the cause of AIDS because it does not satisfy Koch’s Postulates of infectious disease according to her website.* These postulates are four criteria refined and published in 1890 by a chap called Robert Koch. The idea is that they can be used to establish a causative
relationship between a microorganism and a disease. Their application and generalisation for disease is scientifically controversial. Gosh, Koch himself
abandoned the first one as soon as he found asymptomatic carriers of cholera existed. It is useful to point out that 1890 is before we had the same understanding of infection and disease as we do now – yes believe it or not we have learnt much about infectious disease in the last 124 years.
That HIV causes AIDS (a syndrome of 25 illnesses that does not satisfy Koch’s postulates of infectious disease).
Apart from the fact that modern scientists would not use Kochs ninteenth century postulates, lets examine this for a moment. The postulates are:
1. The microorganism must be found in abundance in all organisms suffering from the disease, but should not be found in healthy organisms
Obvious why Koch abandoned this one
2. The microorganism must be isolated from a diseased organism and grown in pure culture.
This could be tricky for viruses as they need cells in culture to grow in and it sure doesn’t work for prions
3. The cultured microorganism should cause disease when introduced into a healthy organism
Back to the first one with the addition of the issue of pre-existing immunity in the recipient.
4. The microorganism must be reisolated from the inoculated, diseased experimental host and identified as being identical to the original specific causative agent.
Of course this would be difficult if the host’s immune system had destroyed said organism.
So as you can see these ideas are rather inadequate for assessing causality in infectious disease. By this logic Kelly Brogan appears to deny germ theory.
The other scientific fact that Dr Brogan appears to reject is the effect of antiretroviral drugs on the mortality associated with this disease.
That drug toxicity associated with AIDS treatment may very well be what accounts for the majority of deaths.
Goodness that would be indeed a terrible thing – if it were true, which it is not. If it were the case then one would anticipate those treated would be more likely to die than those not treated. So, are HIV-infected individuals treated with combined antiretroviral therapy at higher risk of mortality than those untreated? NO. OF COURSE NOT!
For example, A collaboration of 12 prospective studies that included more than 62,000 HIV infected individuals found that mortality was halved in the treated groups.
A really tragic thing is that in South Africa there were an estimated 3.8 million person-years lost between 2000 and 2005 because of delays in implementing treatment programme – in part due to some notion by the government that HIV was not the cause of AIDS and that the drugs were not useful. That is a lot of living that didn’t happen. Of this it has been estimated that 330,000 (2.2 million person years) lives were lost plus 35,000 babies born with HIV from mother to child transmission (another 1.6 million person years).
The facts are that HIV causes AIDS and early antiretroviral therapy prevents the development of AIDS and extends survival Discouraging people from seeking drugs demonstrated repeatedly to be lifesaving is unethical. Citing Harper’s magazine as a source for your evidence is bad form.
*Addendum 9 October. Kelly’s post has gone from her website but it was reposted by Greenmedinfo. I have saved for prosterity here http://web.archive.org/web/20141009010127/http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/hiv-and-pregnancy-pharma-abusing-women