CD4 lymphocytopenia among injecting drug users in New York City

Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, New York.
Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes 07/1993; 6(7):820-2.
Source: PubMed


Recent cases of "AIDS-like" CD4 lymphocytopenia in the absence of HIV infection have generated considerable scientific and public interest. We studied CD4 cell counts and percentages from 1984 to 1992 among 1,246 HIV-seronegative injecting drug users in New York City, a population at very high risk for exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Severe CD4 lymphocytopenia was rare, and there was no evidence of an increase over time. Of 229 subjects with longitudinal data, only four met the surveillance definition for "idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia" (ICL). CD4 cell counts of < 500 cells/microliters were, however, associated with subsequent HIV seroconversion (12.7/100 person-years at risk, relative risk (RR) = 4.53, 95% exact binomial confidence interval (CI) 1.7-10.7, p = 0.002).

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    • "Studies conducted in drug users show that the decrease in T4 cells precedes a positive antibody test ( " HIV infection " ) and not vice versa, that is, the effect precedes the cause. In one study in drug users " The relative risk for seroconversion among subjects with one or more CD4 count <500 cells/ll compared with HIV-negative subjects with all counts >500 cells/ll was 4.53 " [16]. In another study, " low number of T4 cells was the highest risk factor for HIV infection " [17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: In 1983 Luc Montagnier and his colleagues claimed to have discovered a novel retrovirus presently known as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By 1984 HIV was almost universally accepted to be the cause of AIDS. However, 20 years later, HIV cannot account for the phenomena for which the retroviral hypothesis was proposed, namely, Kaposi's sarcoma, decrease in T4 lymphocytes and thus the opportunistic infections in AIDS patients which were assumed to be the direct results of this decrease. Agents other than HIV to which patients belonging to the AIDS risk groups are exposed cause decrease in T4 cells. Neither have the main predictions of the HIV hypothesis been fulfilled. HIV seropositivity in the developed countries still remains restricted to the original high risk groups, no HIV vaccine exists, and no successful animal model has been developed. In this communication, we critically analyse the evidence which in 1983 was claimed to prove the existence of HIV. The phenomena which Montagnier and his colleagues considered proof for the existence of HIV are detection of reverse transcriptase activity; the presence of retrovirus-like particles in the culture; immunological reactivity between proteins from the culture supernatant which, in sucrose density gradients, banded at the density of 1.16 g/ml ("purified virus") and antibodies in a patient's (BRU) serum. Reverse transcriptase activity can be found in viruses other than retroviruses and in all normal cells. Reverse transcription can be brought about not only by the enzyme reverse transcriptase but also by normal, cellular DNA polymerases. Retrovirus-like particles are ubiquitous in cultures not infected with retroviruses, especially in conditions employed by Montagnier et al. From the reaction between proteins in the "purified virus" and antibodies in the patient serum Montagnier concluded that the proteins were HIV proteins and the antibodies were HIV antibodies. Since all antibodies are polyspecific, from such a reaction it is not possible to define the origin of even one reactant let alone both. Even if this were possible, since Montagnier's "purified virus" did not contain particles with the "morphology typical of retroviruses", the proteins cannot be retroviral. We conclude that, these phenomena are non-specific to retroviruses and thus cannot be considered proof for the existence of a unique retrovirus HIV.
    Medical Hypotheses 02/2004; 63(4):597-601. DOI:10.1016/j.mehy.2004.03.025 · 1.07 Impact Factor
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    • "In 1985 Montagnier (Montagnier, 1985) wrote: "This [clinical AID] syndrome occurs in a minority of infected persons, who generally have in common a past of antigenic stimulation and of immune depression before LAV infection", that is, Montagnier recognised that in the AIDS risk groups, AID appears before "HIV infection" [LAV=HIV]. A recent study of IV drug users in New York (Des Jarlais et al., 1993) showed that "The relative risk for seroconversion among subjects with one or more CD4 count <500 cells/uL compared with HIV-negative subjects with all counts >500 cells/uL was 4.53". A similar study in Italy (Nicolosi et al., 1990) showed that "low number of T4 cells was the highest risk factor for HIV infection", that is, decrease in T4 cells is a risk factor for seroconversion and not vice versa. "
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    ABSTRACT: The data generally accepted as proving the HIV theory of AIDS, HIV cytopathy, destruction of T4 lymphocytes, and the relationship between T4 cells, HIV and the acquired immune deficiency clinical syndrome are critically evaluated. It is concluded these data do not prove that HIV preferentially destroys T4 cells or has any cytopathic effects, nor do they demonstrate that T4 cells are preferentially destroyed in AIDS patients, or that T4 cell destruction and HIV are either necessary or sufficient prerequisites for the development of the clinical syndrome.
    Genetica 02/1995; 95(1):5-24. DOI:10.1007/BF01434999 · 1.40 Impact Factor
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