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February 1999

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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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From:
Michael Weissman <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Tue, 2 Feb 1999 10:54:34 -0600
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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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I don't think you can derive scientific conclusions from political
situations. If you forget about the political context, the recent results
on HIV-1 from chimps look pretty solid, though not ironclad. The connection
with treatment is also weak, since it was already known that HIV-1 is not
dangerous to chimps, so that there was already strong reason to focus on
the subtle biochemical differences between them and us. The only new
implication of the recent findings is the warning about possible dangers
from viruses in other species, esp. primates.
        Why is that a political big deal? Does anybody really think that
whether people practice safe sex depends mainly on what they think about
the remote origins of the infection?

        Michael Weissman,
Physics, UIUC   MC-704, 1110 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801-3080  (USA)
Phone: (217) 333-7897;   FAX: (217) 333-9819
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