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Nobel Prize for Medicine Goes to HIV/AIDS Researchers

French scientists Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier, who discovered the HIV virus, will split this year's Nobel Prize for medicine with another German scientist Harald zur Hausen, who discovered that the HPV virus facilitates cervical cancer in women.

HivThe Guardian reports: "Barré-Sinoussi and Montagnier, who were both at the Institute Pasteur in Paris in the early 1980s, were the victors in a scientific race to identify the causative agent behind a novel immunodeficiency syndrome that had emerged in 1981. To find out what was causing AIDS, the researchers cultured cells from swollen lymph nodes collected from patients in the early stages of disease. In 1983 they found particles of a retrovirus – now known as HIV – budding from the cells. Around 33 million people are now infected with HIV. Barré-Sinoussi and Montagnier have long been in the frame for a medicine Nobel, but many observers had expected the American scientist Prof Robert Gallo to be jointly honoured for his role in the virus's discovery.

Nobel prize for medicine split between cervical cancer and HIV research [guardian]

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  1. HIV does not cause AIDS. AIDS is due to a combination of conventional venereal diseases (such as syphilis) and factors such as drug use, lack of sleep and all-round poor lifestyle choices. The decline in the immune system is a natural function of all of these. It has been this way ever since man evolved.

    The reason why the gay community appeared to figure prominently in the disease demographic was because a sub-culture within this community has a nihilistic approach to life. Drugs, sleaze and self-destruction are staples of a mindset which lacks a moral anchor or a familial objective. I've seen it with my own eyes. This is one reason why I'm all for gay marriage and bearing children.

    There is no logical reason why a gay man should get a disease while a straight man doesn't. No logical reason whatsoever. A disease does not have a brain and cannot target one type of person over another simply on the basis of the group they belong to. Ditch the notion that we are somehow a group being persecuted by a virus. No such thing.

    Posted by: jason | Oct 6, 2008 11:20:54 AM


  2. I knew it wouldn't be long before Australia's favorite bigot showed up to parrot his anti-gay talking points.

    Your consistency borders on autistic.

    Posted by: crispy | Oct 6, 2008 11:31:27 AM


  3. Jason's not only Australian, he's straight.

    Posted by: 24play | Oct 6, 2008 11:40:41 AM


  4. "AIDS is due to a combination of conventional venereal diseases (such as syphilis) and factors such as drug use, lack of sleep and all-round poor lifestyle choices."

    Yeah, well, then half the young heterosexuals between the ages of 15 to 30 should be infected by now. They screw all over the place--it's their favorite past-time next to gay-bashing. That's Americans, do young Australians behave any better?

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 6, 2008 11:42:18 AM


  5. Jason...perhaps you can explain why I have an AIDS diagnosis despite the fact that I don't use drugs, rarely drink, exercise regularly, eat healthy meals and have never had syphilis?

    Posted by: peterparker | Oct 6, 2008 11:44:14 AM


  6. DO. NOT. FEED. THE. TROLLS. (whatever their nom de 'net or country of residence)

    Posted by: rudy | Oct 6, 2008 11:51:28 AM


  7. I'm glad to see Gallo was not included seeing as how he stole the research from the French and was a total a hole about the entire thing. People who steal intellectual property don't deserve Nobel prizes, I'm surprised given the history you even mention his name.

    Posted by: Mark | Oct 6, 2008 11:57:20 AM


  8. Well, Gallo is definitely part of the story due to the fact that for years (as a result of direct negotiation between the Presidents of France and USA) he has been publically identified as the "co-discoverer of the AIDS virus" despite the questionable provenance of his claim.

    The initial HIV test was delayed for months (if not years) over the patent dispute between the French and American scientists (and that is what the high level diplomacy settled).

    Posted by: Mad Professah | Oct 6, 2008 12:09:25 PM


  9. Mark, while it's of course not ok to steal intellectual work (NOT ideas as often stated) I don't understand why people accept this propaganda term intellectual property.

    Posted by: Chris | Oct 6, 2008 12:21:05 PM


  10. Jason--one reason why we conclusively know that HIV causes is AIDS is that a diverse set of drugs that were designed to specifically target proteins made by the HIV virus, e.g. protease and integrase inhibitors, stop AIDS. So inactivating HIV has a consequence--it reverses immune suppression.

    There is no way to interpret these data except to conclude that HIV causes AIDS and that blocking HIV reverses the symptoms.

    Although exceptionally strong links that argued that HIV causes AIDS was available before these discoveries, these findings are incontrovertible.

    Posted by: Sam | Oct 6, 2008 12:35:16 PM


  11. I think what Jason is trying to say is that HIV doesn't cause AIDS--Hollywood's bisexual double standard does.

    Andy, you don't need to say "HIV virus" or HPV virus," since the V in both abbreviations already stands for virus. They are initialism tautologies, like "ATM machine"--also known as RAS syndrome (Redundant Acronym Syndrome syndrome).

    Posted by: Thomasina | Oct 6, 2008 1:33:52 PM


  12. I think what Jason is trying to say is that HIV doesn't cause AIDS--Hollywood's bisexual double standard does.

    Andy, you don't need to say "HIV virus" or HPV virus," since the V in both abbreviations already stands for virus. They are initialism tautologies, like "ATM machine"--also known as RAS syndrome (Redundant Acronym Syndrome syndrome).

    Posted by: Thomasina | Oct 6, 2008 1:36:02 PM


  13. Oh, how did I predict that our favorite soulless troll down under would be first to post with his nonsense.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 6, 2008 4:06:08 PM


  14. I have read information that is pretty damning to the pro side and I would like to know how true it is. I have a friend who was diagnosed and he has now come upon this information and it has put him into a tailspin. A couple of the things that I have read are:

    1. HIV tests do not and cannot determine whether someone has HIV. It only determines antibodies that supposedly indicate that a person has it:

    http://www.hiv-aids-factorfraud.com/ (click on 20 minute video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1XHueKkpJA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yopRSViC_M

    Which would be fine I guess, except...

    2. There are over 60 factors known to cause false positive results:

    http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/hiv/cjtestfp.htm

    If this is true then why do we rely on HIV tests at all? And how come ALL the tests say that you should NOT use it to diagnose HIV? Why are we drugging people based on the results of these tests?

    It's all very confusing and scary to me and my friend. Can someone offer clear, concise proof and debunk these arguments that HIV does NOT cause AIDS? Or is there something to these arguments?

    Thanks for your help.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Oct 6, 2008 6:54:11 PM


  15. Soulbrotha, all viral tests test for antibodies -- however, it is true with any antiviral test, what can be detected is exposure to antibodies and not actual "colonization" of the virus. That is why people often are tested twice for HIV, as well as other certain chronic, progressive viral diseases.

    In addition, statements such as "HIV doesn't cause ARC/AIDS" are fancy flights of semantics -- the HIV virus interrupts the production of a certain type of immune cell, which coordinates the attack for the rest of the immune cells. Most people who die of AIDS actually die from secondary infections -- but these infections would not thrive in the human body without the immune system interruption that HIV provides.

    This is vastly different from someone suffering from a host of auto-immune diseases (many of which cause false-positives on the HIV rapid test) because the immune system is over-reacting in an attempt to kill a virus or systemic irritant; when someone contracts HIV, the immune system loses a crucial piece, which causes the immune system *not* to react.

    I realize some younger folks who weren't of age during the horrible HIV/AIDS crisis of the late 70s and 80s think that they can medicate their way to longevity irrespective of what disease they contract; it's nice to believe that over-the-counter mega-dosing on vitamins and herbals will prevent any illness better than putting on a condom; and those conspiracy theories are sure easier to talk about with your partner(s) than actually talking about getting tested. HIV, herpes, syphilis, HPV, and the rest of the STDs really appreciate the fact that humans are short on historical precedent and long on excuses for their behavior.

    Posted by: FOOCHY | Oct 6, 2008 8:09:40 PM


  16. @SOULBROTHA
    You are mistaken when you write that HIV tests only determine whether or not someone carries antibodies to HIV. In fact, HIV positive people who are treating, or at least monitoring, their disease, test their blood 3 or 4 times a year (at least) to determine their 'viral load'. That test does not look for antibodies to HIV, but instead looks for HIV itself and reveals the number of copies of HIV in peripheral blood.

    As for proof that HIV causes AIDS, how about this: when you treat someone with the drugs that target HIV, their t-cells begin to rise and continue to rise so long as they are on medication. Remove the medication, and the t-cells drop.

    Posted by: peterparker | Oct 6, 2008 8:16:45 PM


  17. @ SOULBROTHA:

    I neglected to mention that HIV is most often diagnosed using an antibody test for the following reasons: the test that looks for the presence of HIV itself (called the PCR-DNA test) is expensive and difficult to perform. The antibody test, on the other hand, is relatively inexpensive and can be more easily administered. There is enough validity with the antibody test that there is no sense using the more expensive PCR-DNA test. Besides, if one tests positive on the antibody test, they will soon be administered the PCR-DNA in order to determine viral load.

    Posted by: peterparker | Oct 6, 2008 10:25:25 PM


  18. I apologise on behalf of all Australians for jason's rants.


    Posted by: lou | Oct 6, 2008 11:42:40 PM


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