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View Diary: Reporter: "Do condoms help stop AIDS?" McCain: "I dont know" (348 comments)

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  •  No, the scientific debate is over (6+ / 0-)

    and has been for a while.

    Large-scale, well-done epidemiologic studies have not found a link. And the final proof for me is that the fact that the incidence of autism is NOT decreasing now that thimerosal has been removed from pediatric vaccines for more than 5 years now.

    I hate to even tread into these discussions because there just seems to be no open-mindedness among those who cling to the idea that thimerosal caused their child's illness. But it honestly reminds me of the "arguments" thrown out there that say evolution is just a "story" or that embryonic stem cell research can be carried out with adult stem cells.

    I'd love to know why my 13-year old nephew has never uttered a word, why he bangs his head on the wall, why  he still has temper tantrums like a toddler. He has one of the most severe cases of autism I've ever seen. But the clinician inside me, the one trained in clinical and epidemiologic research, the one who teaches critical medical literature evaluation schools at the local pharmacy school, is absolutely convinced that thimerosal is not the cause. I've read the studies, pondered the biological plausability, tried to be open-minded, and I waited patiently for the ultimate proof to come in recent years, when a definitive and noticeable drop in autism cases SHOULD have occurred if thimerosal were a factor. Sadly, we still live with the epidemic.

    •  The conclusive results on thimerosol are recent (1+ / 0-)
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      so he was about 1 year behind the literature on this topic. Not too bad for a politician with no scientific background. I can't believe for a moment that the general public would give a crap that he was slightly outdated on his information regarding a difficult scientific topic.

      Now his statements on condoms and aids are different. I would guess that >80% of the voting population KNOWS that condoms will reduce the transmission of aids. That is a quote you can hit him hard on and sway voters opinions with.

      And please, do not for a minute think I believe thimerosol is the cause. Here's a link to an exchange I had on dailykos regarding this topic over a year ago. Where I state my opinion clearly.

      However it has been a topic of hot debate over the last decade and all the cellular studies linking organomercury compounds inducing autism like metabolic changes still suggest that mercury (environmental, not vaccines) could be a trigger. Perhaps not the cause of the epidemic we see but not disproved either. Personally I suspect the leading causitive agents will be a combination of environmental exposures that occur during pregnancy and in the first year or two of life.

      "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

      by yuriwho on Sat Mar 29, 2008 at 01:47:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We are absolutely on the same page (3+ / 0-)
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        EricS, yuriwho, catleigh

        see my other post in this thread. Environmental mercury is pervasive anymore, and why we spend all this time and mental energy worrying about vaccines is beyond me! We can't even eat fish safely anymore due to mercury levels. I've long suspected it's a combination of environmental exposure and genetic predisposition. If people would spend half the passion pursuing environmental etiologies as we've spent on vaccine safety, perhaps we'd have better answers by now.

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