Re: Recreational drugs cause 'HIV' test to run positive 9 July 2004
Previous Rapid Response Next Rapid Response Top
Christopher J Noble,
postdoc
Australia

Send response to journal:
Re: Re: Recreational drugs cause 'HIV' test to run positive

Alexander Russel wrote:

Yes: here are the requested references:

Looking Back on the Oxidative Stress Theory of Aids Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos Department of Medical Physics, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia

"That both intravenous and oral drug users develop positive "HIV" antibody tests was shown as far back as 1988 when Sterk reported that a higher percentage of prostitutes who use oral drugs (84%), than IV (46%), test positive.21

21. Sterk C. (1988). Cocaine and HIV seropositivity. The Lancet i:1052-1053.

This reference is a letter to the editor. It reports on a small number of prostitutes. Only 19 were in the non-intravenous drug only class. What the Perth Group don't tell you is that 30% of the "never used drugs" group also tested positive.

What the Perth Group don't tell you is that crack use correlates very well with STDs such as syphilis, gonorrhea and chancroid in addition to HIV. 1 Notice this is by the same author as the reference you gave.

Do the Perth Group assert that crack use causes syphilis? Or does it just cause false positives on the test?

You could make a much better case if you gave examples of crack users that tested HIV positive with no other risks. Prostitutes is obviously a poor choice.

You would succeed just as well if you tried to argue that drinking whisky causes teenage girls to test positive on pregnancy tests and that it has nothing to do with sex.

1 Marx R, Aral SO, Rolfs RT, Sterk CE, Kahn JG.Sex Transm Dis. 1991 Apr-Jun;18(2):92-101 pubmed

Competing interests: None declared