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"If there is evidence that HIV causes AIDS, there should be scientific documents which either singly or collectively demonstrate that fact, at least with a high probability. There is no such document...The HIV theory, the way it is being applied, is unfalsifiable and therefore useless as a medical hypothesis."

Said Kary Mullis, who won the Nobel prize for his invention of the PCR (that make HIV tests possible).

Now if the HIV causes AIDS theory is unfalsifiable and there are no documents that demonstrate that HIV actually causes AIDS, then why is the theory widely considered to be correct?

Related Question: Is HIV a sexually transmitted infection?

Related Question: Koch's postulates for judging if HIV causes AIDS

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The Evidence That HIV Causes AIDS –  Oliver_C Aug 12 '12 at 14:48
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@dan-klasson - Are you saying "HIV causes AIDS" is pseudo-science because it is an unfalsifiable theory? If HIV is not the cause than something else must be the cause, e.g. another virus, a bacteria, a chemical compound,... How is that not testable? May I ask what you think the cause for AIDS is? –  Oliver_C Aug 12 '12 at 15:59
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hiv is a possible cause for aids (which is Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) a syndrome, there can be other ways for the human body to get the immune system to be compromised. –  ratchet freak Aug 12 '12 at 21:41
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I think this a good question. It's a claim made by a notable scientist - it happens to be very wrong, but it's a notable claim and the question shows research effort. It's not fair to ask the questioner what he thinks the cause of AIDS is - that's our job, to rebut the claim that he references. But I hope that the questioner will read the answers with an open mind - judging by his own comments, he seems to have already made his decision, alas. –  Mark Beadles Aug 13 '12 at 0:54
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@ratchetfreak That is news to me. Do you have a source for that extraordinary claim? I think you may simply mistake a name (AIDS) for a comprehensive description. HIV is the sole cause of AIDS. Other immune system deficiencies are not called AIDS. –  Konrad Rudolph Aug 13 '12 at 8:55
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1 Answer

HIV causes AIDS. At this stage, it is dangerous and negligent to suggest otherwise.

The claim that there are no "documents" that show HIV causes AIDS is simply mistaken.

Here are some documents that do demonstrate that, or that, in turn, list the evidence that HIV causes AIDS.

Numerous studies of HIV-infected people have shown that high levels of infectious HIV, viral antigens, and HIV nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) in the body predict immune system deterioration and an increased risk for developing AIDS. Conversely, patients with low levels of virus have a much lower risk of developing AIDS.

It is AVERT's considered opinion that the evidence that HIV causes AIDS is abundant and conclusive. This page outlines some of that evidence, while also mentioning how some dissidents have interpreted things differently.

Other indirect evidence that HIV was the cause of AIDS came from the demonstration, in 1984, of its high degree of tropism for the subgroup of CD4+ T cells, its consistent isolation from patients of different origins who had AIDS, and the isolation of similar viruses that cause AIDS in nonhuman primates (specifically, macaques). Thus, the causative relation between HIV and AIDS was accepted by the scientific and medical community in 1984 and was further verified through the later isolation of HIV type 2 in West African patients with AIDS. The relation was also supported by the clinical efficacy of drugs that specifically inhibit HIV enzymes and the demonstration that mutations in one of the coreceptors for HIV (CCR5) make some persons highly resistant to HIV infection and AIDS.

Although the scientific evidence is overwhelming and compelling that HIV is the cause of AIDS, the disease process is still not completely understood. This incomplete understanding has led some persons to make statements that AIDS is not caused by an infectious agent or is caused by a virus that is not HIV. This is not only misleading, but may have dangerous consequences. Before the discovery of HIV, evidence from epidemiologic studies involving tracing of patients’ sex partners and cases occurring in persons receiving transfusions of blood or blood clotting products had clearly indicated that the underlying cause of the condition was an infectious agent. Infection with HIV has been the sole common factor shared by AIDS cases throughout the world among men who have sex with men, transfusion recipients, persons with hemophilia, sex partners of infected persons, children born to infected women, and occupationally exposed health care workers.

The conclusion after more than 28 years of scientific research is that people, if exposed to HIV through sexual contact or injecting drug use for example, may become infected with HIV. If they become infected, most will eventually develop AIDS.

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It isn't A scientific document. It is several documents, each of which (bar the last, which is more a readable summary) links to MANY scientific documents. I didn't address the fact that it is unfalsifiable because, in fact, that isn't the case. Koch's postulates being just one example (which I almost regret suggesting, because they are the subject of another question.). –  Oddthinking Aug 12 '12 at 15:23
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(3) I referenced peer-reviewed scientific documents, and literature reviews by scientists that cite (in one example) over 130 references. Saying it isn't scientific isn't helping. (Oh, you have deleted that statement now?) –  Oddthinking Aug 12 '12 at 18:28
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Nope. "severe immune deficiency is virtually non-existent among those who test HIV-negative", see the AVERT document, which provides a cite. "In a Canadian cohort, investigators followed 715 homosexual men for a median of 8.6 years. Every case of AIDS in this cohort occurred in individuals who were HIV-seropositive. No AIDS-defining illnesses occurred in men who remained negative for HIV antibodies, despite the fact that these individuals had appreciable patterns of illicit drug use and receptive anal intercourse (Schechter et al. Lancet 1993;341:658)." See the NIAID document. –  Oddthinking Aug 12 '12 at 18:34
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@dan-klasson You need to keep as open a mind as you seem to be asking everyone else to do. Although your claim was notable, coming from a noted scientist, there is evidence against it. Did you really want an answer, or did you just want confirmation of what you already believed? –  Mark Beadles Aug 13 '12 at 1:01
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1980: Science discovers a disease. 1989: Barely a decade later, tests are still "only" 95% specific. 1991-1994: Someone spouts off outside his area of expertise. 2006: Tests are now virtually 100% specific after the initial infection window, and undermine his arguments. You need to update your knowledge, and hence position; science has moved on in the past 20 years. That is how science works. Not one document. Not one study. Not one man. –  Oddthinking Aug 13 '12 at 2:46
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