Send response to journal:
When Tony Floyd becomes a practicing doctor, if I were to walk into his office
and ask for an 'HIV' test, no doubt he'd be happy to draw some blood and
send it off for examination. However, if I asked Mr. Floyd for the references
which proved that in the vast majority of positive tests the reactions were a
result of ONE thing and ONE thing alone (this thing being 'HIV'), which
references would he have at his ready disposal? That is, reference which show
that a positive Western Blot PROVES 'HIV' infection.
It is not only my right to ask for this information but to expect its ready appearance upon request considering the weight of this diagnosis.
If my test were to come back with 3 strong positive bands (let's say p24, p32, and p41) would Tony Floyd conclude I'm infected with 'HIV'?
If I were to ask Dr. Floyd how he knows those reactions aren't the result of other antibodies, what would his answer to me be such that any reasonable doubt would be assuaged?
In addition, since these tests are so remarkably sensitive and specific (so we're told), if I were to provide you with a document which said something like the following, would you be able to sign it? Remember the number 99.9 is quite regularly associated with these tests, so you should have no trouble slapping your signature down to assure me, right?:
As the doctor/clinician recommending or administering the test described above, I hereby verify with a reasonable degree of certainty that this test:
___ has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the express purpose of diagnosing HIV infection;
___ has been validated for accuracy by the direct finding of whole, infectious HIV in the fresh, uncultured plasma of persons with HIV antibody positive results;
___ will indicate current, active infection with HIV in the patient being tested;
___ will not cross-react with antibodies produced in response to any of the following conditions thereby giving a false positive result: Alcoholic hepatitis or alcoholic liver disease; alpha interferon therapy; antigenic stress from any non-HIV source; autoimmune disease; blood transfusion, candidiasis; cholera; cytomegalo virus; Epstein-Barr virus; exposure to nitrites; flu or flu vaccination; foreign semen; hemodialysis or renal failure; hemophilia; hepatitis A or hepatitis Avaccination; hepatitis B or hepatitis B vaccination; herpes simplex 1 or 2; high levels of circulating immune complexes; malaria; malignant neoplasms; mycobacterium avium; normal cellular proteins such as actin or myosin; normal humanribonucleoproteins; parasitic infections; pregnancy or prior pregnancy; retroviruses other than HIV; rheumatoid arthritis; tetanus vaccination; tuberculosis; upper respiratory tract infection; use of recreational or pharmaceutical drugs;
___ can be regularly reproduced with the same results by other qualified labs;
___ will not be influenced or interpreted based on any information in the patient's medical records including current orpast recreational drug use; sexual history; current or past sexual orientation; ethnicity or nationality.
Once again, remember, these tests are regularly associated with numbers like 99.9%.
Competing interests: None declared