Department of Medical Physics, Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia, 6001,
Valendar F Turner, John Papadimitriou, Barry Page, David Causer, Helman Alfonso, Sam Mhlongo, Todd Miller, Christian Fiala
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The "HIV" antibody tests are not diagnostic
In his rapid response: "Re: Diagnosing "HIV" infection in neonates", 1 October, Nicholas Bennett wrote: "The Perth Group do an admirable job of summarising the reasons why Serology is a superior diagnostic tool in ADULTS, but of course we were talking about neonates. As such, the hand of clinicians is forced in that serology is near useless except at later timepoints."
Nowhere in this debate nor anywhere else have we stated much less "do an admirable job of summarising the reasons why serology is a superior diagnostic tool in ADULTS…" than in neonates. We have always claimed, and have given ample reasons in support of our claim, that the "HIV" antibody tests cannot be used to diagnose "HIV" infection in neonates, children or "ADULTS".
Nicholas Bennett wrote: "The results of the European Collaborative Study are at odds with the results here at SUNY Upstate, where serology does revert before 9 months in the vast majority of cases (at least when I made that specific query yesterday that was the answer I was given!) I question why the Perth Group assume that seroconversion between 9 and 22 months "cannot be due to loss of maternal antibodies" when in fact that is the most obvious explanation?"
In his rapid response: "Neonatal "HIV", 28 September, Nicholas Bennett stated that the maternal "antibodies disappear, usually at 9 months". If the maternal antibodies disappear by 9 months then "the most obvious explanation" for "seroconversion" between 9 and 22 months cannot be loss of maternal antibodies.
The facts are:
(i) In the mother to child transmission studies, once a child is found positive in the "HIV" antibody test (irrespective of what tests are performed, ELISA or WB, and what criteria for a positive WB are used), beyond 15 or 18 months the child is considered to be infected with "HIV" and is never retested.1
(ii) In 1973 the evidence showed that maternal antibody in offspring did not persist beyond nine months.2 In 1993, Parekh3 from the CDC developed "a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-specific 1gG-Fc capture enzyme immunoassay (1gG-CEIA) to decide the dynamics of HIV-1 maternal antibody decay and de novo synthesis of HIV-1 antibodies in infants". He and his colleagues reported "a rapid decay" of maternal HIV antibody "with decline to background levels by 6 months (T1/2 [half-life] = 28-30 days)", a result identical to that reported two decades earlier. In other words, if the "HIV" antibody test is specific, any child who has a positive "HIV" antibody test beyond 9 months should remain positive for the remainder of his/her life.
In the European Collaborative Study, the only study providing a detailed analysis of post partum loss of infant seropositivity, approximately 23% of children became seronegative between birth and 9 months. However, 59% became seronegative between 9 and 22 months.
Repeat, since the latter cannot be due to loss of maternal antibodies, the only explanation is that either: (i) the antibody test is non specific, or (ii) children managed to clear "HIV" infection without treatment. If the test is non-specific, how can one be certain that the remaining 18% of children will not also serorevert after 22 months? If the test is non-specific in 59% of children one must also question whether such a test can be "extraordinarily accurate"".4 when applied to the diagnosis of HIV infection of mothers. Or in fathers and the general population.
Nicholas Bennett has completely missed the point of our posting. Does he or his colleague realise the implications of these data for the HIV theory of AIDS?
Nicholas Bennett wrote: "Since the Perth Group obviously agree with the fact that neonatal serology is useless, what else would they suggest? They present data that implies that nucleotide-based tests are less than ideal – no surprises there – but do not take the next logical step and think "what do we do then, in that situation?"
The answer is, we make do. It is not an argument for throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and not performing any kind of diagnostic test at all.
The Perth Group, and others writing here, are perfectly capable of linking together disparate facts to form an argument when it suits them, but are making critical errors in fact and logic. Regardless of the fact that nucleotide tests are inferior to serology, the logical step of therefore considering them useless cannot be made."
Since "HIV" "serology is useless" and "nucleotide tests are inferior to serology", the only "logical step" is that the "HIV" nucleotide tests are also useless. If the tests are useless, then the next logical steps are:
(i) the tests must not be used to prove "HIV" infection in neonates and children;
(ii) to find the reason(s) for the positive "HIV" tests;
(iii) to conclude that at present no proof exists that neonates and children are infected with "HIV";
(iv) to find the cause(s) for the decrease in T4 cells (acquired immune deficiency º AID) and the clinical symptom(s) in the neonates and children who test positive for "HIV".
This is what we "suggest" now, and in fact from the beginning of the AIDS era, and proposed alternative explanations for both, (ii) and (iii).
Nicholas Bennett wrote: If they argue that "Researchers have shown that PCR is useless" and yet the standard of care in neonatal diagnostics here is DNA-PCR, surely that means that someone is out of the loop? I respectfully suggest it is the Perth Group."
It is not the Perth Group but the "HIV" experts who:
(i) state that the DNA-PCR should "NOT" be used to prove infection with "HIV";
(ii) who use the DNA-PCR to prove "HIV" infection in neonates.
This being the case, obviously then if "someone is out of the loop", it is not the Perth Group.
1. Papadopulos-Eleopulos E, Turner VF, Papadimitriou JM, Alfonso H, Page BAP, Causer D, et al. Mother to Child Transmission of HIV and its Prevention with ATZ and Nevirapine. Perth: The Perth Group, 2001. http://www.theperthgroup.com/MONOGRAPH/MTCTJuly24.pdf
2. Stiehm ER. Immunologic diseases in infants and children. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Company, 1973.
3. Parekh BS, Shaffer N, Coughlin R, Hung CH, Krasinski K, Abrams E, et al. Dynamics of maternal IgG antibody decay and HIV-specific antibody synthesis in infants born to seropositive mothers. The NYC Perinatal HIV Transmission Study Group. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 1993;9:907-12.
4. NIAID. Focus on the HIV-AIDS Connection. http://www2.niaid.nih.gov/newsroom/focuson/hiv00/default.htm
Competing interests: None declared