HIV Proponents: Some Claims

HIV proponents have made the following claims:

  1. HIV does not qualify as a latent virus as first thought, rather HIV infection is a chronic infection where the virus is always replicating at a significant level.
  2. HIV can be detected (by PCR) in all HIV positives
  3. PCR is highly sensitive and specific for HIV

Given these claims, how can false negative PCRs (i.e. you test positive on the ELISA but also negative on "viral load") be explained? Could it be that the ELISA does not prove HIV infection? Here is a quote:

"A confirmed positive test [i.e. one or two ELISA tests, followed by a Western Blot] indicates that a person has been exposed to the virus and has mounted an immunologic response (serum antibodies). However, this test does not indicate whether the person currently harbors the virus"

Zhang Z-Q et al. Sexual Transmission and Propagation of SIV and HIV in Resting and Activated CD4+ T Cells. Science. 1999 Nov 12;286(5443):1353-7.

So, even by establishment standards, the antibody tests do not prove HIV infection. How, then, are we to explain false POSITIVE viral load i.e. PCR indicates infection but there are no antibodies? Well, it's obvious isn't it, false positive viral loads are due to contamination. We would never have someone testing repeatedly false PCR positive in an environment where care is taken to exclude the possibility of contamination and on those rare occasions when we did have false positive "viral loads" there would never be any at a high copy number, such observations would expose the "viral load" measurement as worthless:

See the posting "Viral Load: False Positives and Non-specific Primers"


It must be very comforting for HIV positive pregnant women to know that the contamination prone PCR is approved for diagnosing HIV in their newborns but is not approved for diagnosis in any other situation (1).

1. See the CDC 1994 Revised Classification System for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in Children Less Than 13 Years of Age. Mortality and Morbidity weekly Reports 1994;43 (RR-12):1-10.