hope and research
Above objection noted. For myself, I will try to avoid ascribing motives to people I don't know.
I would, however, like to go on record as hoping our problems are not caused by a retroviral infection likely to stay with us for life. This is entirely distinct from my enthusiasm for research on XMRV. Let me try to explain.
After decades of watching explanations shift back and forth, without providing me much relief, I'm hoping to get to the bottom of questions about a cause while I still have some life left to live. Considering the range of proposed explanations I've seen, I still think any single explanation is unlikely to stand up very long without modification. Most will be discarded.
This represents real progress. We have gone through decades of "maybe it is, or maybe it isn't" without resolution. (If you don't believe me, try to think of any explanation which has been completely taken off the table.) At present, the field is definitely moving.
The whole question of pathogens has taken on new life. In order to rule out XMRV, it will be necessary to show some other cause for anomalies already found. A whole battery of tests for different pathogens has been proposed for the Stanford study. This is, to my knowledge, unprecedented.
A second aspect is the possibility of limited immune compromise. While frightening in itself, this offers an entirely different take on infectious causes. Many things which were dismissed will have to be reevaluated as possible if this is taking place. Harmless endemic infections can be pathological if the immune system is not working properly. In this case, fights over which pathogen is doing the dirty work in which group of patients may be misdirected. One cause could very well lead to diverse infections in different people. The common factor would be that they are all ill with infectious diseases because of a deeper problem back up the line. At least people are now looking for it. Finding a cause other than XMRV would be great, if things turn out that way. If you don't look, you aren't going to find this.
A third aspect is the new emphasis on epigenetics. The mere possibility that a retrovirus is turning genetic switches on and off, for its own purposes, has caused new investigation of such changes in this illness. We are seeing the mechanics of illness even if we haven't caught the villain flipping switches.
This is an entirely different world from the one in which I've had to argue with people saying "it's all in your head". The thing which is in my head now is hope. Even if, worst case, a retrovirus is going to stay with me for life, I can hope for treatments, based on a clear understanding of causes, which will relieve symptoms. Many people positive for HIV are significantly less impaired than I have been.