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Should XMRV be called HIV-X?

I'm really glad I'm not the only one who doesn't agree with associating CFS/ME with HIV as a way to scare the public into paying attention to CFS/ME. I think this would backfire tremendously. There will be enough public panic once it gets around that there's a new retrovirus out there. AIDS and CFS/ME are both serious and devastating diseases, but we don't know enough yet about XRMV to start calling it a "type" of AIDS or the "new" AIDS.

I encourage anyone who was too young to remember or didn't live in the U.S. during the early days of AIDS to watch this episode of Frontline, in particular this segment. Once the general public became aware of AIDS, there was a huge backlash of fear and harassment. AIDS patients were fired from their jobs (even if they were well enough to keep working at the time), thrown out of their apartments, banned from school, and were harassed and threatened by their neighbors. A family with three young boys with AIDS had their house burned down. This was before there was any AIDS education. People were afraid to shake hands with AIDS victims even after Princess Diana was shown on TV hugging an AIDS patient.

This is what happens when fear and panic are able to spread before education. I think it's important to remember how early AIDS patients were treated as we publicize the new info about CFS and XMRV. Leading with scare tactics would be disastrous. Spread information, not fear.


Senior Member
not to mention that fact that XMRV can be transmitted by saliva, at least during the acute stage. people would be afraid to go to work or send their kids to school.