Why Talk About HIV Tests
If HIV Doesn't Cause AIDS?
By Christine Maggiore
My question is this: most of the information about the HIV does not equal AIDS theory seems to focus on two issues: 1) HIV tests are often inaccurate, and 2) HIV does not cause AIDS. But if HIV doesn't cause AIDS, why are we even concerned with the reliability of an HIV test?
PJ by e-mail
I think it's important to examine and clarify the various foundations of the HIV hypothesis. This includes the tests and as well as the lack of evidence for HIV as the cause of AIDS. Since the tests don't test for the virus said to cause AIDS 覧 or even for antibodies specific to HIV 覧 an HIV-positive diagnosis should be subject to question whether or not one accepts HIV as the cause of AIDS. The tests are also a point of departure for vital scientific study. We need to determine the ability of HIV tests to accurately identify people infected with HIV, something that AIDS researchers have never established.
Most people are not aware that the literature accompanying current HIV tests admit the tests aren't able to do what everyone believes they can. They state: "At present there is no recognized standard for establishing the presence and absence of the HIV-1 antibody in human blood." And that "sensitivity [is] based on an assumed 100% prevalence of HIV-1 antibody in AIDS patients [and] is estimated to be 100%," while "specificity [is] based on an assumed zero prevalence of HIV-1 antibody in random donors [and] is estimated to be 99.9%." Note the use of the words "assumed" and "estimated" when the precise sensitivity and specificity of the test could be readily established through verifying the presence of virus in antibody-positive people.
I think the real question is this: Why are people being given life and death diagnoses based on assumptions and estimates?
Thanks for writing,
If HIV is harmless and the drugs are what's causing harm, what was killing all those gay men in the early '80s, before drug therapies?
-Paul in Orange County
There are a few hypotheses as to what was killing gay men before AZT was used as an AIDS treatment. One that is popular among many gay men I know who lived through those times is that the men who died had managed to do what HIV hasn't been shown to do 覧 destroy health 覧 through multiple infections and subsequent immune-compromising drug treatments, along with regular use of drugs like MDA, X, and crystal, chronic use of powerful antibiotics known to damage immune response, combined with lack of sleep and improper nourishment. This is a hypothesis I explore in detail in the chapter of my book "If It's Not HIV, What Can Cause AIDS?"
Another alternative hypothesis is presented in the new book "Get All the Facts: HIV Does Not Cause AIDS" by Dr. Mohammed Ali Al-Bayati. A pathologist and toxicologist, Al-Bayati began questioning the HIV paradigm when he was confronted with the case of a 60 year-old man with hallmark symptoms of AIDS caused by corticosteroids and exposure to chemical toxins. Pharmaceutical corticosteroids are immune suppressing drugs used as medical treatments for problems that trouble a number of gay men, and are also naturally produced by people enduring stressful conditions such as infection and starvation.
Al-Bayati's extensive review of the medical literature on AIDS led him to conclude that the idea HIV causes AIDS is based solely on assumptions, and that healthy people who test HIV-antibody positive do not need to take any special treatments, including AIDS drugs.
Some researchers blame other microbes like HHV6, or claim that syphilis causes AIDS, but I have yet to see compelling evidence for these ideas.
Ultimately, without knowing the unique health history and lifestyle of the people who died, it's impossible come up with a definitive answer that would explain these unfortunate deaths.
In my opinion, the most effective approach to wellness is to examine and treat each person as an individual rather than looking for "one size fits all" causes and treatments for health challenges.
I hope I've answered your question.
"Studies Show Viral Load Levels Correlate with AIDS 覧 Defend Yourself"
I visited your web site and want to know your feelings about the accuracy of the Roche PCR and Chiron RNA viral load test. Several studies (see Scientific America July 98) show a correlation between viral load, the onset of AIDS and death. How do you defend your position against these studies? I am not certain that testing HIV positive equals death. I have been positive for at least 16 years, probably 19, and I am alive with a CD4 count of 1400, and I have a wife and ex-wife and a child who are all HIV negative. While I don't buy into conspiracy theories, I think science rushes in where fools dare tread.
-Steve via e-mail
I don't buy conspiracy theories, either. If you are suggesting that the information at our web site seems conspiratorial, I would be grateful if you would point out specific examples so that I might review the material and correct this impression. Science is based on open inquiry, debate, and seeking evidence for assumptions, and our goal is to reflect those ideals in our work.
I don't stake out any position based on my "feelings" about the PCR test. I try to evaluate all aspects of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis, including the various lab tests, using information gathered from peer-reviewed medical journals and other mainstream sources. My conclusions about the inaccuracy of PCR viral load tests are based on several findings:
The lack of FDA approval for the use of viral load as a diagnostic test. In regular person's terms, a diagnosis is saying "you have" or "you are," and the tests aren't approved for saying "you have HIV" or "you are HIV infected."
The manufacturers' statement in test package inserts which note that "the 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" (Roche's Amplicor PCR test US-83088). In other words, the test is not supposed to be used to identify or quantify actual virus.
Studies (such as Piatak, M et al 1993, Science 259: 1749-53) showing that viral load test results do not correlate with illness, with wellness, with T-cell counts or even the finding of virus by co-culture.
As you may know, co-culture is a method of claiming detection of virus that employs chemical stimulants that don't occur in nature and other special laboratory procedures that can induce otherwise dormant DNA to produce virus 覧 virus that under natural conditions would not be found in a patient's fresh, uncultured plasma. In this particular study , 53% of HIV positives with detectable levels of viral loads had 0 (zero) virus by co-culture.
Viral load has not been verified by a gold standard of isolation.
Viral loads are found in people who test HIV negative. (Some recent references: Rich JD et al, 1999, Misdiagnosis of HIV Infection by HIV-1 Plasma Viral Load Testing: A Case Series, Annals of Internal Medicine, 130:37-39; Sullivan et al, Persistently Negative HIV-1 Antibody Enzyme Immunoassay Screening Results for Patients with HIV-1 Infection and AIDS, AIDS, January 14, 1999, 13: 89-96.)
PCR creator, Nobel Laureate Dr. Kary Mullis (who wrote the foreword to my book) never conceived PCR as a quantitative measure of anything.
I would be happy to send you, or any reader interested in this discussion, a point-by-point rebuttal to the article you refer to in Scientific Amer-ica that was prepared by Dr. David Rasnick, an AIDS researcher and protease inhibitor expert who serves on the Alive & Well advisory board. This and other valuable information is posted at www.rethinkingaids.com.
I am glad to know that you and your family are living in health and
you more of the same in the years to come.
ALIVE & WELL Alternative AIDS Information Network (the organization formerly known as HEAL Los Angeles), offers free information, free meetings and classes challenging the HIV-AIDS paradigm. Call toll-free for details (877) 92-ALIVE.
Return to the March/April Index page