HIV Dissidents: The Continuing Saga

Nick Bennett, MD, PhD (here's his blog) has weighed in on the current debate. You can read his report (pdf). While my post focuses on the pathology, his focues on the clinical issues. It's well worth the read.

In addition, I would like to reply to a comment made by Dean Esmay in the comment of my last post. Wrote Dean:

I challenge you on this one statement:

The fungus P. carinii is a very rare human pathogen that is seen only in hosts with compromised immune systems.

This is false. P. carnii is found in 100% of all human beings’ lungs, including yours. It is latent, and only becomes pathological in severely immune-compromised people. This is important, because it means that we have to ask whether she had any symptoms consistent with p. carnii pneumonia. If she did, then an AIDS diagnosis would be easier to justify; if all we have is that the examiners heard that the mother had HIV and then went looking for p. carnii, the jig is up: of course they found it, you’ll find it in any corpse if you look hard enough.

We discussed this previously, but Dean persists in maintaining this falsehood. P. carinii is a ubiquitous organism in the species, true enough, but this means specifically that a vast majority of humans have been exposed to it at some point in their lives. Dean's assertion that "it's found in 100% in humans" is false, if only for the simple reason that nothing in medicine is 100%. But, on top of this, it is false because its presence in a majority is known from its serologic presence, not a histologic, or pathologic, presence. In other words, most people have detectable antibodies to the organism, meaning that they have been exposed to, and defeated, this organism at some point in their lives. What does this mean to this debate?:

  1. While most patients have been exposed to the organism, it is never seen by a pathologist (even if he goes "looking for it") unless it is causes actual PC pneumonia - you never see it on special stains done for other reasons, something we do every day.
  2. There is unequivocally a PC pneumonia present in this case, not just simple PC - see "foamy alveolar casts"

I challenge Dean to find a single pathology text that says that PC organisms seen on special stains is a routine finding, or that it does not represent, with the presence of exudate in the alveoli, a definitive diagnosis of PCP.

Link Round-Up:
HIV Dissidents
HIV Dissidents, Continued
HIV Dissidents: The Continuing Saga
Parents Vs. The State
Maggiore on PrimeTime Live

Respectful Insolence 1
Respectful Insolence 2
Respectful Insolence 3
Nick Bennett's Rebuttal to Al-Bayati's Report

The Medical Examiner's Report
Mohammed Al-Bayati's Comment on ME's Report

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This should be simple enough

This should be simple enough to settle. According to Borellus:

'The essential Saltes of Animals may be so prepared and preserved, that an ingenious Man may have the whole Ark of Noah in his own Studie, and raise the fine Shape of an Animal out of its Ashes at his Pleasure; and by the lyke Method from the essential Saltes of humane Dust, a Philosopher may, without any criminal Necromancy, call up the Shape of any dead Ancestour from the Dust whereinto his Bodie has been incinerated.'

My copy of Borellus is rather rare (with a bookplate showing it came from the library of noted Providence historical figure Joseph Curwen) but I'd be glad to loan it to either of you two to continue investigatory work.

Remember, however, to call not up any which ye cannot control.

have any broad attempts been

have any broad attempts been made to locate PC organisms in healthy individuals? What were the results if so?

More rebuttals of HIV/AIDS

More rebuttals of HIV/AIDS "skeptics"
Now, two others have weighed in, and they both agree with me. First up is Trent McBride, a pathology resident who blogs at Catallarchy.

Who is this Borellus you

Who is this Borellus you speak of Sabotta? What is his book titled?

Skeptics unite: Skeptic's

Skeptics unite: Skeptic's Wikipedia is born, as Web science discussions bloom
A Wikipedia for skeptics, SkepticWiki, the Encyclopedia of Science and Critical Thinking, has started operation, we learn from Bob Carroll, author of The Skeptic's Dictionary