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Infectio

Print version ISSN 0123-9392

Abstract

RAMIREZ, Zoraida; DIAZ, Francisco Javier; JAIMES, Fabián Alberto  and  RUGELES, María Teresa. The non-infectious aetiology of AIDS: Myth or reality?. Infect. [online]. 2007, vol.11, n.4, pp.190-200. ISSN 0123-9392.

The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been recognized for the last two and a half decades. During this time it has extended all over the world and caused more than 20 million deaths, becoming one of the largest pandemics on record. During the early years of the epidemic, several causal hypotheses were proposed. A putative etiologic agent, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was discovered in 1983 and it was soon after accepted as the causal agent of AIDS. This rapid acceptance, when limited evidence was available, originated criticism that persists up to today. Arguments range from denial of HIV existence to the statement that its presence in patients is a consequence rather than a cause of AIDS. Toxic and nutritional factors acting as "immunologic stressors" have been postulated as alternate etiologic agents of the syndrome. However, during the ensuing years, a good deal of research has been done and enough data has piled about AIDS and HIV to settle the controversy. What that information tell us about the causes of AIDS? In this review we critically examine the role of HIV in AIDS using the classical criteria of causality in the light of the knowledge accumulated over the years.

Keywords : HIV-1; AIDS; causality; stressor agents.

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