Re: Still no proof for a correlation between the HIV PCR and antibody tests 11 February 2004
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Christopher J Noble,
postdoctoral fellow
Bern Switzerland

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Re: Re: Still no proof for a correlation between the HIV PCR and antibody tests

The Perth Group write "Nowhere in the text of the Owens et al paper do the authors confirm or even mention whether any of the studies in their analysis included controls from a "non-diseased population", "at risk for HIV infection". Under the subtitle, "Recommendations for Study Design" they wrote: "Many of the studies we analysed had design limitations?incomplete representation of the spectrum of patients in the study population, insufficient sample size, and incomplete reporting of test results. To increase the generalisability of study results, the study sample should reflect the entire spectrum of disease encountered in the clinical population of interest. For example, the nondiseased population should include persons who are at risk for HIV infection and would be candidates for testing rather than healthy controls".

What would be Christopher Noble's interpretation of the above?"

The above passage means exactly what it says no more and no less. If The Perth Group could be bothered to read the studies that Owens et al used in their metastudy they would indeed find that many of the studies did include non-diseased (not HIV infected) groups that were in high risk groups. The correlation between HIV antibody tests and HIV PCR tests remained.

It is extremely obvious that it is impossible to "prove" anything to someone that will never accept any evidence that contradicts their dogmatic beliefs.

It is fruitless and pointless to even attempt to prove anything to the Perth Group. Any paper that presents evidence that contradicts their hypotheses will be deconstructed and "flaws" will be found.

The Perth Group write "If a positive HIV-2 antibody test was proof for HIV-2 infection and if the primers were amplifying the env gene, then: (i) each primer pair should have given positive results with all 42 samples; (ii) all samples should have tested positive with all primer pairs."

Hughh. What are you talking about? You have previously drawn our attention to the genetic diversity of HIV. Now you expect one PCR primer to amplify all strains of HIV-2. The only thing that your response demonstrates is your determination to ignore any evidence that contradicts your hypotheses.

The Perth Group write: " However, after repeated questioning he [Montagnier] admitted that reverse transcriptive activity is not specific to retroviruses and thus, indirectly, that he did not isolate HIV"

Montagnier has not, directly or indirectly, admitted that he did not isolate HIV. This is purely your spin, your interpretation and your lies.

The Perth Group write: "Repeat, although maybe not to his liking, we have honestly answered all Christopher Noble's questions. If he wishes he may repeat them and we will answer them again."

Half a year ago I asked you to provide a citation for your claim that "the genomes of the most variable RNA viruses do not differ by more than 1%". So far you have not done so. You have repeatedly cited a paper that says nothing of the kind.

It is imperative in science that you accurately report the contents and findings of the papers you cite.

Once again you do exactly the opposite.

You write: "The largest, longest, best designed and executed studies conducted in the USA and Africa show that HIV is not heterosexually transmitted.24-27"

The first reference you give is 24. Gray RH, Wawer MJ, Brookmeyer R, et al. Probability of HIV-1 transmission per coital act in monogamous heterosexual, HIV-1 discordant couples in Rakai, Uganda. Lancet 2001; 357:1149-1153."

It is a blatant lie to claim that this study shows that HIV is not heterosexually transmitted.

It should be obvious why the Perth Group have no influence in the scientific community. It is not, as David Rasnick would like to argue, due to censorship but rather the pseudoscientific statements, illogical conclusions, misinterpretations and outright lies that are put forth by the Perth Group.

Competing interests: None declared