Discussion in 'XMRV Testing, Treatment and Transmission' started by USAFANG67, Mar 27, 2011.
Is it too early to ask if XMRV is sexually transmittable?
Since no one has posted anything yet on this, I'll comment. There hasn't been much study on this topic and what there is is pretty scanty so what I say could change depending on future studies.
Way back to Incline Village, IIRC, there were studies showing that spouses of people with CFS were no more likely to come down with CFS than other folks. On the other hand, there are anecdotal stories of people whose healthy spouses/ partners came down with CFS after they were together. This is to distinguish from couples who both have CFS but had it initially before they met --- some couples have met at CFS support groups.
The scientists out there saying that it is sexually transmitted because it's found in the prostate and possibly cervical tissue might be correct or not but it also bears repeating that CFS outbreaks have occurred among people NOT sexually involved with each other -- e.g. high school students, members of a symphony, neighbors.
Best thing to do is practice safe sex as usual (condoms, talk to your partner beforehand, etc.) but realize no one knows the whole story yet.
"Hope", who performed the studies that found that spouses of ME/CFS patients in Incline Village were no more likely to come down with ME/CFS (or was that "just" CFS?) than other people?
I mean, if it was, for example, the CDC, I would doubt these results - because, why would a "scientist" that say that there are no outbreaks of CFS and that it's all just mass hysteria would perform a study that would imply that CFS is sexually transmissble?
Anyway, the question now is not just about ME/CFS, but also about other diseases: Do spouses of people with Canadian Criteria CFS are more exposable to diseases (such as, but not restricted to, ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, Prostate Cacner, Breast Cancer etc. etc. etc.)?
I don't have the energy to dig up the studies but I believe I saw them mentioned initially in Osler's Web (but someone should confirm this) and ?perhaps the original Annals of Internal Medicine study published way back by Cheney and Peterson. (If someone has come across the original studies, please refer me to them). I don't doubt studies based on who did them but rather on the methodology; I question the methods behind CDC studies but I don't dismiss stuff solely on who did them.
(For example, Peter White did some interesting immune studies in ME/CFS showing abnormalities with physical activity as mild as traveling to clinic but he just doesn't talk about them, interestingly enough.)
I also think that while we have to look for possible diseases linked with ME/CFS, we also need to be careful about casting the net too wide. Studies looking for increased prevalence of other illnesses among spouses are doable but aren't as easy as people might think on both a logistical and theoretical level. There are many factors one needs to control for; for example, cancer cluster studies have a number of caveats when attempting to design and interpret them.
Maybe this is sacrilege on this board but I don't hold tight to Canadian Criteria; it was constructed by practicing clinicians but hasn't been validated formally in a study. There are a number of "prediction rules" in medicine where clinical characteristics are used to predict an outcome or diagnosis, like pneumonia needing hospitalizaiton. The rules are constructed by experts but are tested out to see if/ how they work before they are widely implemented/ disseminated. I certainly think CCC has potential and should be studied but I'm not clinging to it before that.
Whittemore Peterson Institute has a Q & A page - specifically about XMRV. #6 is the question and answer I found most troubling. What WPI has to say about XMRV indicates that it is transmissable the same as HIV. If that is the case, that would include oral sex as well - as being a potential route of infection.
I have had many worries about this topic as well. I started a Blog here called "Contagion...really...but...." something like that. It is interesting to see what different people have to say and contribute about ME/CFIDS as a potentially contagious illness.
For me right now, I am going to consider myself potentially infectious until I know more. I have not been tested for XMRV.
Considering that XMRV is still just hypothetical and there is no proof whatsoever that it is the cause of CFS... yeah.
My concern is "absolutes" in either direction. My personal belief is that -- because ME has appeared in clusters -- and also, there is record of "casual transmission".... (non-sexual)....I personally take these realities into account. If you read my blog post, I think what jenbooks has to say is comprehensive and astute. Because, althouth XMRV may not be the culprit, one cannot exclude the "casual transmission" of this illness. Along those lines, I would rather be careful than potentially ruin another person's life.
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