Many props to my new friend Sadunkal for opening my eyes to the question of whether HIV causes AIDS. I found some interesting articles that raised interesting questions, but I just found the clincher.
The World Health Organization's definition for AIDS in Africa -- called the Bangui definition -- published in Science in 1985, modified slightly in 1994, still used today.
To have AIDS in Africa, you have to score 12 on the following diagnostic tool:
Weight loss exceeding 10% of body weight 4
Protracted asthenia (lethargy) 4
Continuous or repeated attacks of fever for more than a month 3
Diarrhoea lasting for more than a month 3
Oropharyngeal candidiasis 4
Chronic or relapsing cutaneous herpes 4
Generalized pruritic dermatosis 4
Herpes zoster (relapsing) 4
Generalized adenopathy 2
Neurological signs 2
Generalized Kaposi's sarcoma 12
So in other words, in Africa, if you have 10% weight loss, protracted lethargy, diarrea lasting over a month, and a cough, the World Health Organization says you have AIDS. Of course, drinking from the river, sleeping on a dirt floor, and not having enough food for the season will yield the same symptoms. But the World Health Organization calls it AIDS. And then our government pays pharmaceutical companies billions of our dollars to "treat" it.
Most interestingly of all, you can be diagnosed with AIDS without an HIV test.