AZT Causes Birth Defects,
Evidence mounts showing that AZT causes birth defects
and cancer, yet HIV doctors worry more that the new evidence will
discourage AZT consumption than they do about its grim consequences
and obvious implications.
The New Scientist (June 26; newscientist.com)
discussed the soon-to-be published findings of Stephane Blanche
of Paris's Necker Hospital and a new report by Ofelina Olivero of
the National Cancer Institute (Journal of AIDS 13:
Blanche examined the cases of about a thousand "HIV-positive"
pregnant women who followed standard protocol by consuming AZT during
pregnancy as a means of preventing the transmission of HIV infections
to their infants. He found that eight of the resulting infants,
though "HIV-negative," suffered from a neurodegenerative
condition (which the article did not specify) that kills its victims
in infancy, and which normally affects between just one-to-ten children
Blanche traces the observed eight-to-80 times increased
incidence of this disease to AZT's effect on mitochondria, "mini
cells" within cells that produce ATP, the basic unit of all
cellular energy. Scientific facts support his suspicion. AZT blocks
all DNA replication, including mitochondrial DNA which must replicate
along with the mitochondria to meet cellular energy needs. A study
not cited by the New Scientist documents the resulting
"mitochondrial myopathy" AZT consumption causes in mouse
livers (Ozawa, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commum. 176:1,
Olivero's study demonstrates how AZT blocks DNA
replication -- by being incorporated into replicating DNA strands.
In the many cells where this incorporation does block replication,
not only will HIV fail to replicate (in the rare cell -- 1 in 10,000
-- that harbors HIV replication), but the host cell dies; and in
cases where the incorporation fails to block replication, the resulting
DNA strand now contains AZT rather than the DNA unit that AZT mimics.
This represents a mutation that Olivero regards as possibly carcinogenic,
increasing the chances of cancer.
Although reported as news, these studies merely
restate what everybody has known all along about AZT-style drugs
(nucleoside analogs) used to treat people who test "HIV positive."
These drugs represent a broad class of pharmaceuticals used both
to treat leukemia and organ transplant patients. Their utility in
these capacities derives from their immune cell-killing capacity,
which directly relieves leukemia (immune cell cancer) and causes
general immune suppression that helps transplanted organs to "take."
But in either case the patient suffers unwanted immune suppression.
Since these drugs cause immune suppression, they
make illogical choices for treating or preventing immune suppression.
And besides immune suppression, these drugs cause other AIDS-defining
conditions because they kill digestive tract cells (causing wasting)
and cells-within-cells mitochondria (causing dementia).
The carcinogenic phenomenon demonstrated by Olivero
illustrates a paradox not just for using these agents to treat cancer
(since they also cause cancer), but for treating AIDS, since some
cancers qualify as AIDS-defining diseases.
Meanwhile scientists have yet to demonstrate any
AIDS-causing capacity for HIV. The known immune-suppressing effects
of these drugs, which make them useful in preventing organ recipients
from rejecting their transplanted organs, presents a second paradox
when physicians use them to treat people who test "HIV-positive."
Such physicians assume (incorrectly) that these tests indicate actual
HIV infections, and further assume (also incorrectly) that these
infections cause immune-cell death, resulting in the immune suppression
observed as AIDS. They prescribe these drugs because they halt HIV
replication, forgetting (or ignoring) that these drugs by definition
(and unlike HIV) kill immune cells, and thus really do cause immune
suppression (also unlike HIV).
The New Scientist makes sure to declare
that the new evidence of AZT toxicity should discourage no one from
consuming these drugs. "Most specialists stress that, on balance,
they would still urge pregnant women with HIV to take [these] drugs
to minimize the chance of their babies being infected by the virus.
Indeed, as New Scientist went to press, medical authorities
in France and the US were preparing statements on Blanche's findings
which are expected to stress the benefits of using the drugs."