On the contrary, I think "remission" is exactly the right word. "Remission is the state of absence of disease activity in patients with known chronic illness that cannot be cured." Remission could be the result of something we have done (or not done), but without control groups, it can never be said that something we have done (or not done) brought about that remission. And there is always reporting bias with interventions. People who feel something has helped them or harmed them dramatically are much more likely to volunteer information about what they feel their experience has been. "Eh" or "I dunno" or "It didn't seem to do anything" are not as commonly reported. A long chain of hypothetical "ifs" here - but if XMRV turns out to be the culprit in CFS (or much/most CFS), if I turn out to be XMRV+ myself (haven't been tested), then I might decide I want to try antiretrovirals - even if I have to pay cash, since we all know HMOs don't like "experimental" treatments. Those are drugs with prodigous side effects. The drug might harm me, might help me, might do nothing in particular for me. It might induce resistance in the bugs, which is a horrifying thought because then I could ruin the potential for that drug to ever help me in the future, if it turns out it should be used in a different dosage or as part of a cocktail. I wouldn't mind wasting my own money, or even potentially harming myself - I already feel like hell, so what have I got to lose? And I don't have kids or anyone who depends on me. But here's the thing - I would consider my experience wasted if it weren't part of a properly controlled clinical trial. I would rather have my experience be objectively measured and become part of the body of scientific knowledge, whether it's negative, positive, or just "eh." That way my experience actually has the potential to help others, even if it harms me.