Re: Reply to Tony Floyd: requested Philip Mortimer reference 6 February 2005
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Tony Floyd,
Medical Student
Newcastle University

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Re: Re: Reply to Tony Floyd: requested Philip Mortimer reference

Alexander Russell has suggested:

> In future I suggest Floyd opens up Google and types in 'Mortimer', 'HIV' and 'test'...

The issue isn't so much whether I can find web sites that claim Mortimer made the statement. I was more so interested in whether he might have made the statement in something he published such as in a journal (ie, there is a reasonable chance he is behind the statement). Hence I went to PubMed and used the search term "Mortimer P[au]" so as to retrieve documents he had authored. I searched all abstracts, and the most relevant statement I could find came from his 1996 paper (1):

"The high expectations of laboratory diagnosis of HIV have mostly been met..."

I think Google is a great search engine, however search with "is the earth flat?" and you get several assurances that it is indeed. If I put up my own web site stating that Philip Mortimer (or any other credentialed virologist) decided that HIV didn't exist you might find it with Dr Google, but that doesn't mean it is true.

Credit to you, Mr Russell, for at least indicating where you got the information from. The 'perth group' attributed statements to Valerie Beral and Jay Levy that directly contradict their published work and have failed to respond when challenged for proof (2).

Asking for a reference was not meant to get under your skin Mr Russell. Us mere students are taught to always check the evidence and the credibility of the source if available.

***

References:

(1) Mortimer PP. Ten years of laboratory diagnosis of HIV: how accurate is it now? J Antimicrob Chemother. 1996 May;37 Suppl B:27-32. Review.

(2) Re: PCP and "HIV". BMJ Rapid Response. 6 November 2004.

Competing interests: None declared