When "HIV antibodies" are not "HIV" antibodies 17 February 2005
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Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos,
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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Re: When "HIV antibodies" are not "HIV" antibodies

In his Rapid Response “HIV diagnostics”, 1 February, Peter Flegg wrote “The [antibody] tests used are approved for their purpose, namely detection of HIV-antibodies, and not diagnosis of HIV infection”.

How does a person develop “HIV-antibodies” apart from being infected with “HIV”?

Is Peter Flegg trying to tell us “HIV-antibodies” are not necessarily induced by “HIV” infection?

If there are no other “clues from the history and examination”, in other words, if the patient is no risk, healthy with normal CD4s but nonetheless has “HIV-antibodies”, what is the diagnosis?

If "HIV antibodies" are not always caused by "HIV" how does Peter Flegg know the “HIV antibodies" in AIDS patients are caused by “HIV”?

When was the last time Peter Flegg told a patient of any description with “HIV-antibodies” he is not infected with “HIV”?

Competing interests: None declared