If it walks, talks and quacks like HIV, then it probably is HIV. 13 July 2003
Previous Rapid Response Next Rapid Response Top
Tony Floyd,
Medical Student
Newcastle University

Send response to journal:
Re: If it walks, talks and quacks like HIV, then it probably is HIV.

>Can Brian Foley, or anyone else, please explain how the diagnosis of infection with the same virus using the same antibody test can be based on ten or more different sets of criteria?

The different criteria in different countries are no doubt a reflection of the fact that HIV/AIDS is a relatively new phenomenon. If, assuming an equivocal result to the 'does it look like a duck test', the requirements for a diagnosis of 'Duck' in:

Switzerland required feathers and a bill.

England required a bill and webbed feet.

USA required a quacking noise and feathers.

Japan required webbed feet and a distinctive waddling gait.

What difference would it make as long as they all arrived at a logical diagnosis? Do the Swiss 'ducks' for some reason never progress to the same profound immunodeficiency found in England, USA and Japan? No.

Do the anti-duckavirals (so to speak) used in Japan then not work on those diagnosed in the USA? No.

Of course Brian Foley will point out that this Duck has had its entire DNA sequenced. All jokes aside maybe (just maybe) it exists and is killing millions of people.

Competing interests:   None declared