Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Help for HIV

Here are ten facts every person diagnosed as HIV-positive has a right to know (click on the underlined words for quick references)...

  • 1. There is strong evidence that the HIV test you took is very often wrong. We have found over fifty different scientific studies listing seventy non-HIV conditions that can make the test produce false positive results. Depending on which test you took, they can actually be wrong as much as 90% of the time. So you might not be HIV-positive at all.

  • 2. The HIV test you took was not a test for AIDS, or even a test for HIV. Despite what we've all been told, it was a simple test to find certain antibodies in your blood -- an "HIV-antibody" test. But viral antibodies alone do not indicate a current infection. In fact, in virtually every other antibody test, to be positive for the antibodies means that you had exposure to or a prior virus infection and are now immune from the disease that virus could cause. Antibody protection is the basis for the practice of vaccinations, like gaining immunity against the flu with a flu shot. There are no studies that show why we should think any differently about antibodies to HIV. A growing number of experts now believe that testing HIV-antibody-positive actually means that you have successfully created what your body needs to defeat any HIV infection.

  • 3. The HIV test you took has never been "validated," as was normally done in the past. That means that there has never been a group of people who tested HIV-positive who were then proven to have active HIV (not just the antibodies) in their blood. Conversely, there has also never been a group who tested HIV-negative and were proven not to have active HIV in their blood. This lack of test validation raises serious questions about the validity of your positive diagnosis.

  • 4. The proteins used in the HIV test kits have never been proven to be unique or specific for HIV. In fact, every one of the proteins used in the test has been found to be associated with conditions that have nothing to do with HIV -- and many of these proteins have nothing to do with illness of any kind. In other words, scientific evidence cannot prove that a positive HIV test means that you have HIV or AIDS or any other health problem.

  • 5. No HIV test, whether it uses blood, urine or saliva, has ever been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the specific intended purpose of diagnosing infection with HIV.

  • Click to enlarge
    In fact, there is a printed insert that comes in every HIV test kit which contains a disclaimer that the test cannot diagnose actual infection with HIV. Most doctors giving the test and most people taking the test never see these disclaimers

  • 6. Nineteen samples of the same blood were sent to nineteen different laboratories for a Western Blot test, and they all came back with different results. 525 samples of the same blood of an ELISA-Positive test were sent to 525 different laboratories for a Western Blot confirmation, and came back with very different results. One blood sample was sent to the same lab 44 times and came back with different results. This means that your tests results could have been different if they had been done in a different laboratory.

  • 7. There is no established standard for determining the results of your test. In fact, there are at least ten different ways to interpret your HIV test, and each one of those can give a different result. It often depends on where you live in the world, whose standards are used to interpret your test, and what information you give about your life and health history. You might be positive according to one set of standards, but negative using another. Some people have gone from being HIV-positive to being HIV-negative just by moving to a different location, or by changing laboratories or testing sites, or giving different information about their potential "risk factors."

  • 8. Many people believe that HIV viral load tests do what antibody tests cannot, by detecting the actual virus. But this is a false belief. According to the disclaimer statements on viral load tests, they are "not intended to be used as a screening test for HIV or to confirm HIV infection." This is because the viral load tests have some of the same problems as the HIV blood tests: they have never been validated, the "probes" and "primers" they use have never been proven to be unique or specific to HIV, they are not standardized from laboratory to laboratory, they produce a high rate of false positives, and more. In fact, most laboratories will not allow you to take an HIV viral load test unless you have already tested HIV-positive, because people who are HIV-negative have had high HIV viral load results.

    In addition, the most recent scientific study shows that viral load measurements failed in 90% of the cases in predicting the loss of CD4 cells, which HIV is supposed to destroy. In fact, viral load tests were only able to predict "progression to disease" in 4% to 6% of the HIV-Positives studied. This study proves that there must be "nonvirological mechanisms as the predominant cause of CD4 cell loss." In other words, HIV cannot be the cause of immune deficiency and therefore a viral load test is a totally useless indicator of whether someone will get AIDS. An analysis of this study in the same issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that viral load results alone should not be used to begin antiretroviral therapy (HAART).

  • 9. A lot of emphasis is also placed on CD4 (or T-cell) counts to diagnose someone with AIDS. However, T-cell counts can fluctuate widely from day to day and hour to hour in even normal, healhy people. We've known since 1991 that "variance in CD4 from ...non-HIV related longitudinal fluctuations needs to be accounted for in analysis of the prognostic power of CD4 in HIV infection." And other studies have found perfectly healthy HIV-negative individuals with very low T-cell counts. And as recently as May 2007, from the Imperial College of London: "Our new interdisciplinary research has thrown serious doubt on one popular theory of how HIV affects these [CD4] cells."
  • 10. And despite what you hear from the mass media, there is no scientific study that proves that HIV is transmitted through heterosexual intercourse. In fact, the opposite is true. The longest and largest study of its kind (called the Padian study) found no transmission of HIV in any of the study couples, regardless of whether they were using condoms or not; and the most recent study from the British Medical Journal found no evidence that abstinence would prevent HIV infection.


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