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From: ((Steven B. Harris))
Subject: Re: HIV does not cause AIDS, ever
Date: 10 Jul 1995

In <> (Michael Shaw)

>In a previous article, (Andrea) says:
>>Michael Shaw ( wrote:
>>: Dear Andrea:
>>: I think that "poppers" were what he had in mind.  AZT came later.
>>Yah, too bad this theory has come and gone.  What about the men who
>>didn't take poppers, didn't have bad health before this etc etc.  This is
>>one of the first theories there was for AIDS in the 80s and it didn't
>>stick around because it was false.  I am not going to read some stupid
>>book about an old theory unless for some reason I am shown that there is
>>major doubts about the current explanation of the disease.  And I
>>haven' life goes on.  And it is best to avoid needles, and drugs
>>and unsafe sex for a multitude of reasons, anyway.
>Considering that the HIV virus can get through the microscopic holes in
>condoms, what exactly is safe sex?  A better word might be "safer" sex.
>Quick now, all those pro-condom people, y'all line up and have condom
>protected sex with a verified HIV positive individual!!  Who'll be the
>first volunteer??

No, Mike, there is no evidence that HIV can get through condoms.  Geez,
a condom will hold water (and even air for that matter), and an HIV
virus is several hundred times the diameter of a water or air molecule.
Condoms have been subjected to the acid test by putting a few cc's of
HIV solution inside them, inserving a penis-like spacer, and
then subjecting the whole shebang to vigorous sex-like plunging for a
few minutes in a culture fluid-filled outer tube.  If any HIV's got
through, they should have infected the culture.  They don't.

HIV in reality may have to infect by transfer of an actual cell (a
macrophage or sperm) with HIV riding on it, or inside.  These are 100
times larger than the virus, providing additional reason to think that
condoms are safe.

Finally, there are real life test of condoms.  In married people where
one is HIV+ and the other negative, proper use of condoms results in
zero transmission rate over 2 years.  Improper or intermittant condom
use in the same study resulted in a 10% transmission rate during the
same time frame.

                                               Steve Harris, M.D.

From: ((Steven B. Harris))
Subject: Re: HIV does not cause AIDS, ever
Date: 12 Jul 1995

In <> (Michael Shaw)

>Gee whiz!  A cheap child's balloon holds air--for awhile, yet it still
>has holes in it.

Yes, and I suspect that rubber (latex) condoms leak air too, slowly,
being made of the same stuff as baloons.  The new plastic ones are
reported to be much less leaky on that scale, and I'll have to buy and
blow a couple up to compare them.

>  And, a number 200 sieve, with VISIBLE holes, holds
>water, because of the surface tension of water.

Sure it does-- but what makes you think that viruses can get through the
rather strong layer of surface tension over a very small hole?  You'd
have to have liquid from both sides forcing all the air out, and (as I
said) experiments to see if this happens with condoms have been done.
For whatever reason, viruses don't get through.

>If condoms are so great, how come a single mfr of them doesn't promote
>them as being "clinically tested" to prevent HIV transmission, when used
>as directed?  All he would need is the lab data to prove it, and sales
>should soar!

Don't be stupid.  What kind of a "clinical test" are you talking about?
Teach chimps to put on condoms?   Hire HIV-negative prostitutes for
HIV-positive men, and sit around recording results with cameras and
clipboards?   The very religious-right conservatives who warn and moan
about the lack of perfect tests for condoms, are exactly the kind of
people who would go into orbit if the government paid to do the kinds of
tests it would take!  And if done by a private condom firm, you guys
simply wouldn't believe the results.

>How come there isn't an FDA approved condom?

They are ALL FDA approved-- otherwise you could not sell them.  Just try
opening up your own condom plant sometime for the US market, without
putting your product through the government quality control (pressure
and spec tests and so forth), and see how long you stay in business.

                                           Steve Harris, M.D.

From: (Steven B. Harris )
Subject: Re: Evidence that condoms are safe for gay men
Date: 02 Sep 1995

In <> (Carlton
Hogan) writes:

>2. HIV-sized beads or particles make a crappy model. It is probable that
>cell free virus is relatively unimportant in transmission. Leukocytes
>clearly are *not* going through these micro-pores. Even cell free virus
>is suspended in fluid, where very strong surface tension effects on that
>scale prevent leakage. Unless you imagine HIV climbing a little ladder to
>the exact point of the rift, and then forcing it's little head through
>the not inconsiderable surface tension force.

Exactly my mental picture.  Right out of Asimov's first book treatment
of _Fantastic Voyage_, where the sub crew have all that difficulty
getting through the surface tension between air and gas in a capillary
alveolar interface.  The book here was much more realistic about the
air water interface than the movie, but even so the book was not
realistic and Asimov knew it full well.  This kind of surface tension
force on these scales, along with the fluid viscosity scale-up, would
be more like dealing with a couple of inches of Kevlar overlying
asphalt.  I mean, look-- surface tension holds up steel needles and
water striders which are something like a trillion times heavier than a
virus.  At the scale of a virus such a force would be humongous.

                                    Steve Harris, M.D.

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