HIV causes Aids (employing British usage on this post) full stop, says the mainstream.
First of all, for argument purposes, if HIV is a pathogenic virus, it does not cause Aids, rather Aid. The development of the s (syndrome), which by and large arises from ‘co-infection’, depends on being exposed to listed pathogens. In other words, HIV leads to Aid, which can lead to, say, TB (one of the syndrome diseases). So the PR should be HIV/AID/S. Of course, that’s not catchy.
As HIV causes Aid, antiretrovirals (assuming a time a regimen exists targeted solely at pathogenic retroviruses like HIV) will, or should, only target HIV, but not treat TB since TB is caused by mycobacterium. So, if antiretrovirals are of any help in TB, for one, then their mechanism is beyond antiretroviral. If there is no therapeutic improvement from highly specific antiretroviral therapy then the HIV theory must be abandoned, and the great scope of ‘atom bombs’ such as pure AZT or HAART suggests that we should consider that immediately. HIV-negative people with TB (usually those untested for HIV) need TB medicine, so TB in a person in whom HIV has been precisely annihilated, should also require TB medication. I don’t imagine it will just disappear with HIV removed.
Ignoring classical Aids dissenting arguments, there is one other mainstream-recognised cause of immunodeficiency, the consequence of which is, bizarrely, not labelled Aids: immunosuppressant drugs.
People who receive donated organs are put on these medications to dampen the immune system to stop it attacking the new (foreign) organ. The downside is that pathogens are also not attacked. Antibodies are inhibited from being made when using glucocorticoids. While now acknowledged as unreliable, Wikipedia lists immunodeficiency as a side effect of these drugs, but that’s an odd statement considering that immunodeficiency is consistent with the core effect of immunosuppressants. So, if antibody production is diminished there is low chance of making antibodies against HIV infection – a useless infection here, if it is a pathogenic virus, in an already compromised host. So one would have HIV but not be HIV-antibody-positive, and with prior immunosuppression, probably advance to Aids quickly.
But even when divorcing HIV in this scenario, if we introduced TB or salmonella to a person on immunosuppressant drugs, they would have an Aids-defining illness in an acknowledged immunodeficient state, but it would not be acknowledged as Aids as that’s all to do with HIV. It would be, possibly, be called an unfortunate consequence of the treatment. But Aids just means acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. One can acquire immunodeficiency from immunosuppressants and then be liable to suffering from the syndrome list.
If by some perversion antiretrovirals were offered to (likely) HIV-negative patients on immunosuppressants and they were of some therapeutic value in the short term, whether against known or unknown infections, then you would have to ask why they were of use in people with Aids but no HIV.