A cause is S.I.N. – sufficient, immediate, and necessary.
- sufficient all by itself to produce AIDS – I do not believe this has been established. The virus is best described as an aggravator of immunodeficiency, meaning it makes existing immunodeficiency worse.
- necessary to produce AIDS – definitely not true; there are many acquired routes to immunodeficiency.
- immediate precursor to AIDS – definitely not true; some people are infected for decades before they get full blown AIDS. Some (~2%) never go on to AIDS, probably because their receptors do not allow the virus to bind and obtain entry to their CD4+ cells.