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IRF News

Correspondence between HIV+ patient and David Crowe

Dear Madam,

I was detected positive in Oct 2008. Then my VL was 6271 and CD-4 was 175. I was put on Viraday. Last year in May 2013 I stopped Viraday ( do not ask me why) and tried an alternative medicine (homeopathy). The results are given in the table below. Through your your forum I am requesting you and some experts on HIV to shed some light on the same. I am aged 54 now and weigh about 79 kgs. My height is 5’11”.  I am from India.

I have no other complications but slight pain in the muscles in arms and joints.  After stopping ART my weight increased from 73kgs to 78 kgs. The person giving the alternative medicine says the virus is deactivated. P17 antibody has been shown as absent in the last 3 WB tests I got done since stopping ART.

I am anxious to know where I stand as of now. Searching the web has given confusing opinions. While some insist on CD-4 being stable others are laying emphasis on Viral Load being low. And then of course there are the combinations. For a lay person like me very difficult to understand. While the VL is low CD-3 and CD-8 are rising. Now how that is to be interpreted?

 
 
8.5.13
16.10.13
5.3.14
14.5.14
 
Range
 
 
 
 
Viral Load
 
 
 
 
 
HIV-1 RNA PCR ULTRAQNT
 
<20
6956
<66.9
<66.9
 
Copy / ml
 
 
 
 
Lymphocyte Enumeration
 
 
 
 
 
Absolute CD45+
1000-3000
 
 
2899
3110
% CD3+/ CD45+ (T-cells)
59 – 84 %
73.3
73.4
70
71
Absolute CD3+ Lymphocyte count
716 -2130 µl
1491
2084
2040
2204
% CD3+/ CD4+ (T-cells)
26 – 48 %
20.3
17.1
12
12
Absolute CD4+ count Lymphocyte count
354 – 1100 µl
414
486
346
369
% CD3+/ CD8+ (T-Suppressor cells)
18 – 41%
51
54.5
57
58
Absolute CD8+ Lymphocyte count
192 – 980 / µl
1039
1549
1666
1794
CD 4/ CD 8 ratio
0.57 – 2.03
0.4
0.31
0.21
0.21
Thanks and regards
Anon
****
Dear Anon;
Joan Shenton has asked me to respond to your email.
There are many things that should be questioned if you are HIV-positive. The first is why antibodies can be taken as proof of current infection, rather than past exposure to a virus? In addition, how can antibodies be known with surety to be from HIV, when HIV has never been purified?
But similar questions can be asked about CD4 counts and viral load. I have done extensive research on CD4 counts and the idea that this is tightly correlated with immune system health is totally fraudulent.
Some of my research in  a relatively accessible format is at:
Crowe  D. Nice Graphs, No Data. aras.ab.ca. 2007 Jun. http://aras.ab.ca/articles/scientific/DatalessGraphs.html 
Crowe D. Graph Fiction. Vimeo. 2011 Jul. http://vimeo.com/26441488 
Crowe D. Predictability of a CD4 count. aras.ab.ca. 2012 Jul. http://aras.ab.ca/articles/scientific/cd4-predictability.pdf 
 
Viral load has similar questions. Again, how is the HIV genome known when HIV has never been purified? How can someone obtain, with surety, the HIV RNA sequence, when HIV has never been obtained? And how can the primers, a tiny fraction of the genome, pick up HIV, and nothing else?
Where is the viral load testing on the general population to calculate the rate of false positives (some indications are that this is very high). If viral load can give false readings in HIV uninfected people, then it can give falsely high readings in HIV infected people (if there is such a thing).
So the first question is not how to interpret your numbers, but why you believe these numbers are ever meaningful. Certainly, without those numbers AIDS doctors would be out of a job. But doesn’t that give them a big conflict of interest?
Regards,
     David Crowe

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