In November 1987, eight months after licensing in the US, 5,000 patients were already on AZT. In 1993 the delayed publication (for damage limitation purposes) of the Concorde trial results showed conclusively that asymptomatic HIV antibody-positive individuals who took AZT, died more quickly and in greater number than those simply affected by AIDS-defining illnesses.
Although we had AIDS around before anti-HIV drugs, it must be noted that these AIDS cases were confined to groups that had more tangible factors in common than mere "HIV" positivity. Why would a heterosexually transmitted virus of African origin start off in the West among homosexuals and specifically drug abusing homosexuals?
A major conributing factor to early Western AIDS was the use of Septrin (Bactrim) with impunity from the early 1970s onwards to treat a wide range of microbial infections, predominantly in sexually active homosexuals, especially stubborn urinary tract infections, intestinal infections and atypical pneumonias.
Septrin is a combination of two substances, sulphamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Trimethoprim is used to treat leukaemia. It does this by killing white blood cells, which happen to be collectively the cells of the immune system!
Sulphamethoxazole inhibits the synthesis of folic acid. Trimethoprim inhibits the conversion of folic acid into tetrahydrofolate. Without tetrahydrofolate, essential precursors for new DNA cannot be synthesised. Inhibition of this essential metabolic pathway for growth, cell differentiation and division causes the faulty development of nucleic acids, enzymes and other proteins or ends this development completely. The damaging consequences for mitochondrial DNA are obvious, especially because it does not benefit from nuclear DNA repair mechanisms. The fungus which causes PCP eventually develops resistance to septrin by the way.
In addition, Septrin and recreational drugs are oxidising agents. Exposure to oxidising agents provides a source of harmful chemicals called free-radicals that can damage cells and mitochondrial DNA. Because there is no nuclear repair mechanism, damage to mitochondrial DNA is cumulative and is passed from mother to child.
Septrin and related antibiotics inhibit the synthesis of mitochondrial DNA, which decreases the production of ATP, the chemical fuel of the cell. This leads to an increase in free-radicals. Once the level of ATP declines to a certain level and the molecules which normally remove harmful free-radicals are all used up, these excess free-radicals cause even more mitochondrial DNA damage and therefore an even greater reduction in ATP, more free-radicals and therefore even more DNA damage, a vicious circle. The cell initiates programmed cell death. This effect is particularly severe in rapidly maturing cells with short half-lives and rapid turnover, such as CD4 cells.
Another major contributing factor in early AIDS was the unprecedentedly high aphrodisiac usage of nitrite inhalants (poppers) which were an integral part of the gay scene from about 1974. This spread into the heterosexual community 4 or 5 years later. "These products have been found to be profoundly immunosuppresive for human lymphocytes in vitro" according to Newell et al. Pharmacotherapy, Vol. 4, pp 284-291 (1984). See also Hersh et al. Cancer Research, Vol. 43, pp 1365-1371, (1983) and Goedert et al. Lancet, pp 412-416, Feb 20, 1982. All INDEPENDENT studies undertaken implicate these inhalents in AIDS. Other recreational drugs are also causal factors for AIDS. Other contributing factors involved the widespread use of benzene derived lubricants which are oxidising and, like AZT, suppressive of the bone marrow which is where immune system cells are born.
Yet another factor was medical treatment with glucocorticosteroids. For information on the causal connection between glucocorticosteroids and AIDS you are referred to:
Dr Mohammed Al-Bayati on AIDS
Other psychological, toxic, infectious, traumatic or nutritional stresses can also contribute to AIDS, a major psychological stress being the terror (voodoo hex) of a positive HIV test result.
For more information you are referred to articles on Virusmyth and to:
Benzene Lubricants and AIDS