Alexander H Russell,
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The following references from 'HIV' test literature supplied by Bennett are misleading and untrue:
"The COBAS AmpliScreen™ HIV-1 Test, version 1.5 (v1.5) is a qualitative in vitro test for the direct detection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV -1) RNA in human plasma."
"This product is intended for use as a donor screening test to detect HIV-1 RNA in plasma samples from individual human donors, including donors of Whole Blood and blood components, Source Plasma and other living donors."
"Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1) is the etiologic agent of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV-1 infection can be transmitted by sexual contact, exposure to infected blood or blood products, or by an infected mother to the fetus."
The Vironostika package insert (an ELISA-based test) states:
"The Vironostika HIV-1 Plus O Microelisa System is intended for use as an aid in diagnosis of infection with HIV-1."
"Published data indicate a strong correlation between the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and a retrovirus referred to as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Both HIV serotypes have been isolated from patients with AIDS and AIDS- related complex (ARC), as well as from apparently healthy individuals at high risk for AIDS."
The Reveal Rapid Antibody test states:
"Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)."
"The Reveal™ Rapid HIV -1 Antibody Test is intended for use as a point-of-care test to aid in the diagnosis of infection with HIV-1."
The Cambridge Biotech Western Blot kit states:
"The Enzyme-Linked lmmunosorbent Blot Technique (“Western Blot”), has been used to detect antibodies to Human lmmunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV -l), which has been recognized as the etiological agent of the Acquired lmmunodeficiencv Syndrome (AIDS)."
What does 'recognised' here mean? 'HIV' has been chosen arbitrarily as the "etiological agent of the Acquired lmmunodeficiencv Syndrome (AIDS)!.
Bennett concludes with a totally unjustified assumption: "Faced with the knowledge that a person has anti-HIV-1 antibodies, and knowing that HIV is a life-long infection, the obvious conclusion (and diagnosis) is of HIV infection."
Bennet should be made aware of the following regarding the spurious, pseudoscience surrounding 'HIV' testing:
Emeritus Prof. Gordon Stuart, Public Health, Glasgow UK stated:
"At present there is no scientific basis for using these tests to prove HIV infection."
Chief UK virologist Philip Mortimer stated:
"It may be impossible to relate an antibody response specifically to HIV infection."
The manufacturers cautiously state in their literature enclosed with the 'HIV' test kit:
"At present there is no recognized standard for establishing the presence and absence of HIV-1 antibody in human blood. Therefore sensitivity was computed based on the clinical diagnosis of AIDS and specificity based on random donors"1
"Do not use this kit as the sole basis of diagnosing HIV-1 infection"2
"The Amplicor HIV-1 Monitor test is not intended to be used as a screening test for HIV or as a diagnostic test to confirm the presence of HIV infection"3
1. Abbott Laboratories, Diagnostic Division, 66-8805/R5; January, 1997
2. HIV-1 Western Blot Kit, Epitope, Inc., Organon Teknika Corporation PN201-3039 Revision #8
3. Roche Diagnostic Systems, Inc., Amplicor HIV-1 Monitor Test Kit. US:83088. June 1996)(13-06-83088-001 (Also see: Abbott Test Halted After Inaccurate HIV Results, Chicago Tribune (CT) - FRIDAY, April 5, 1996 Edition: BUSINESS Page: 1 Word Count: 402).
In 'Tests for HIV are Highly Inaccurate', Dr. Roberto Giraldo wrote:
"Some of the conditions that cause false positives on the so-called 'AIDS test' are: past or present infection with a variety of bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi including tuberculosis, malaria, leishmaniasis, influenza, the common cold, leprosy and a history of sexually transmitted diseases; the presence of polyspecific antibodies, hypergammaglobulinemias, the presence of auto-antibodies against a variety of cells and tissues, vaccinations, and the administration of gamma globulins or immunoglobulins; the presence of auto-immune diseases like erythematous systemic lupus, sclerodermia, dermatomyositis and rheumatoid arthritis; the existence of pregnancy and multiparity; a history of rectal insemination; addiction to recreational drugs; several kidney diseases, renal failure and hemodialysis; a history of organ transplantation; presence of a variety of tumors and cancer chemotherapy; many liver diseases including alcoholic liver disease; hemophilia, blood transfusions and the administration of coagulation factor; and even the simple condition of aging, to mention a few of them.
It is interesting to note that all of these conditions that cause the 'HIV tests' to react positive in the absence of HIV, are conditions which are present with varied distribution and concentration in all of the conventionally recognized AIDS risk groups in the developed countries, as well as in the vast majority of inhabitants of the underdeveloped world. This means that in all probability many drug users [including mothers], certain gay males, and some haemophiliacs in the developed countries, as well as the vast majority of inhabitants in most countries of Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean, who have positive reactions to the tests for HIV, may very well do so due to conditions other than being infected with HIV…There is no justification for the fact that both patients and the general public have had all of the preceding facts withheld from them. Without the merits and demerits of the tests for HIV, people cannot make informed decisions." (Being 'HIV-positive' does not mean that a person is infected with 'HIV'; Tests for HIV are Highly Inaccurate, Dr. Roberto Giraldo).
Competing interests: None declared
Competing interests: None declared