Dissident AIDS Database

NIAID paper : HIV causes AIDSDeveloped countriesSurvival with AZT/PIsCameron study
No title
 Johnston R, Irwin M, Crowe D, Rasnick D
  (Cameron DW, Heath-Chiozzi M, Danner S, Cohen C, Kravcik S, Maurath C, Sun E, Henry D, Rode R, Potthoff A, Leonard J, Randomised placebo-controlled trial of ritonavir in advanced HIV-1 disease. The Advanced HIV Disease Ritonavir Study Group, Lancet 1998 Feb 21;351(9102):543-9) Protease inhibitors were introduced on the market in December 1995 with much fanfare, but only two randomized studies were ever done that claimed reduced infections or death from use of protease inhibitors and not just reduced viral load. One of these studies (Cameron et al in 1998) was short-term, showed significant toxic side effects and did not really use a placebo (but instead a completely unproven combination of AZT with another DNA chain terminator like ddI or ddC which eliminates these studies from any meaningful scientific discourse). This study showed no difference in mortality (which they conceal by lumping mortality stats in with a variety of others) and many more of the study participants experienced toxicity rather than benefit. People given the full drug regimen had extremely high toxicities compared to "placebo" recipients, including 50% with diarrhea, another 52% with nausea, 29% vomiting, and 25% weakness. With these extremely high toxicities, it is easy to see how the double-blind could be penetrated by both patients and clinicians. Fully 21% of the people taking the triple drug combination dropped out of the study before the 4.5 months were up, which biases the results. In spite of all these favourable biases, although there was a reduction in opportunistic infections, the authors found little or no reduction in mortality, as a graph on page 546 clearly indicates. They mask this failure by lumping death statistics in with opportunistic infection statistics, citing reductions in the probability of "AIDS progression or death".
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