Health officials defend accuracy of Aids tests
A spokesman said that government scientists had recently undertaken a review of the tests that had confirmed their 'state of the art' accuracy. Blood samples that had tested positive for HIV antibodies were subjected to PCR (polymerase chain reaction), a highly sensitive technique to show the presence of minute quantities of viral genetic material. There was an 'extremely good correlation' between the positive blood and the presence of virus, the spokesman said.
'We take the issue of test reliability very seriously, and there is regular quality assurance carried out in this area. We have no reason to suspect that the test is unreliable, and that large numbers of people are testing positive when they are not. A positive report is not issued on the strength of one test, but at least two different tests,' he added.
A spokeswoman for the Public Health Laboratory Service, which collates national test results and carried out the review, said the Australian claims about the tests which appear in the Sunday Times are not relevant to this country. 'Because we have adopted a 'belt and braces' approach to testing and carry out more than one confirmatory test, we are confident that no one has falsely been told they are HIV positive,' she said.
The report says that inaccurate testing in Africa may be responsible for vastly inflated figures of those infected, and that uninfected people with malaria and other diseases, also give a positive result. Malaria as a cause of spurious results was a problem in the mid-1980s but not with the more sensitive tests used today.
The report is the latest in a series of Sunday Times articles supporting the views of a small number of scientists who say HIV does not cause Aids, and that heterosexual Aids is a myth.
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Migrants crossing the Mediterranean: Pope Francis joins calls for EU action on boat refugees
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers recruited by the Shia Houthi rebels who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Isis in Afghanistan: Group claims responsibility for Jalalabad suicide bombing that killed 35
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...