Dissident AIDS Database

Antibody testsUnreliabilityFalse positiveAfrica
Racial differences in anti-p24 antibody titers and total serum IGG levels in North American persons with HIV-1 infection.
 Lucey, D. Hendrix, C. & Andrzejewski, C.
  Epidemiological data show that Africans including healthy Africans have high levels of antibodies. For example, United States data indicates that serum IgG levels are higher in HIV+ American Blacks (mean 2234 ń 930 mg/dl) than in HIV+ Caucasians (mean 1601 ń 520 mg/dl). Serum IgG levels are also higher in Black blood donors (mean 1356 ń 220 mg/dl) than in Caucasians (mean 1072 ń 243 mg/dl)
  Abstracts VII International AIDS Conference I, p.362: Florence, 19911991
AIDS in Africa: An epidemiologic paradigm.
 Quinn, T.C. Mann, J.M. Curran, J.W. & Piot, P.
  In Africa "...serodiagnosis is complicated by the need for confirmatory testing because of the presence of possible cross-reacting antibodies"... “serologic studies of HIV in Africa have been inconsistent because of problems in interpretation of the results from ELISA and Western blot tests of banked specimens, particularly from malaria endemic areas, and the validity of these data has been questioned”
  Science, 1986, 234, 955-963.1986
Elisa HTLV retrovirus antibody reactivity associated with malaria and immune complexes in healthy Africans.
 Biggar, R.J. Gigase, P.L. Melbye, M. Kestens, L. Sarin, P.S. Demedts, P. Delacollette, C. Bodner, A.J. Paluku, L. Stevens, W.J. & Battner, W.A.
  "Reactivity in both ELISA and Western blot analysis may be non-specific in Africans...the cause of the non-specificity needs to be clarified in order to determine how they might affect the seroepidemiology of retroviruses in areas other than Africa, such as the Caribbean and Japan...Serological studies from Africa would need to be re-evaluated with a more specific test before conclusions can be drawn".
  Lancet II, 1985, 520-523.1985
Slim disease: A new disease in Uganda and its association with HTLV-III infection.
 Serwadda, D. Sewankambo, N.K. Carswell, J.W. Bayley, A.C. Tedder, R.S. Weiss, R.A. Mugerwa, R.D. Lwegaba, A. Kirya, G.B. Downing, R.G. Clayden, S.A. & Dagleish, A.G.
  African sera "may give a false-positive result on direct binding assay systems, or on western blots".
  Lancet II, 1985, 849-8521985
Evidence for heterosexual transmission and clinical manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus infection and related conditions in Luzaka, Zambia.
 Melbye M et al.
  “Results in serological surveys for antibodies against HIV in Africa were initially distorted by a high false-positive rate”
  Lancet 1986; ii: 1113-1115.1986
Prevalence of antibodies to lymphadenopathy-associated retrovirus in African patients with AIDS.
 Brun-Vezinet, F. Rouzioux, C. Montagnier, L. Chamaret, S. Gruest, J. Barre-Sinoussi, F. Geroldi, D. Chermann, J.C. McCormick, J. Mitchell, S. Piot, P. Taelman, H. Mirlangu, K.B. Wobin, O. Mbendi, N. Mazebo, P. Kalambayi, K. Bridts, C. Desmyter, J. Feinsod, F.M. & Quinn, T.C.
  In 1984, sera from 37 out of the 38 patients who were diagnosed in Kinshasha in October 1984 were tested for HIV antibodies by Montagnier and 19 of his associates including researchers from the CDC. The sera were tested by ELISA and followed by a RIPA test similar to the Western blot. The latter was considered positive if a p24 band was present (since 1987, nobody in the world with the possible exception of Montagnier, considers the p24 band proof of HIV infection, not even in Africa). Thirty two (88%) patients were positive by both tests. So were six out of 26 (23%) controls. The p41 band and also a 84-kD band were not considered diagnostic because "The 43-kD [p41] band and the 84-kD band are cellular contaminants that are immunoprecipitated in all the tested sera", from both patients and controls. (Yet today, in Africa, the p41 band on its own is considered to represent a positive WB and thus proof of HIV infection).
  Science 1984 226, 453-4561984
AIDS in Africa: lessons for us all.
 Pinching AJ.
  Speaking about the seroepidemiology in Central African countries, a British immunologist states: “It now appears that some of the results obtained were false positives” (190).
  J Roy Soc Med 1986; 79: 501-503.1986
AIDS in Africa.
 Mann JM.
  “False positives can also occur, if, for example, the frozen blood has thawed and then been refrozen. To make the situation even more complex, many Africans probably have relatively high levels of antibodies, proteins that signal the body’s attempt to fight disease, in their blood, as a result of having other infections, such as malaria. These numerous antibodies tend to bond to one another and cause blood samples to become sticky, which may lead to false positive results”
  Sci Amer 1987; March 26: 40-43.1987
Infection with HIV-1 and HTLV among leprosy patients and contacts: Correlation between HIV-1 cross-ractivity and antibodies to lipoarabinomannan,
 Kashala, O. Marlink, R. Ilunga, M. Diese, M. Gormus, B. Xu, K. Mukeba, P. Kasongo, K. & Essex, M.
  "the usual HIV tests (Elisa and WB) are possibly not sufficient to diagnose infection with hiv in central africa"
  J Infect Dis , 1994; 169: 296-3041994
Seroepidemiological studies of HTVL-III antibody prevalence among selected groups of heterosexual Africans.
 Clumeck, N. Robert-Guroff, M. Van De Perre, P. Jennings, A. Sibomana, J. Demol, P. Cran, S. & Gallo, R.C.
  Gallo and his associates also tested Africans for HIV antibodies. Of 53 patients with AIDS, "46 (87%) tested positive...67 (80%) of 84 prostitutes [without any clinical symptoms] and five (12.5%) of 40 and eight (15.5%) of 51 healthy controls and blood donors, respectively", also tested positive. Sera which had one positive ELISA were considered as proof for HIV infection. Sera which had a borderline ELISA were further tested with the WB. In the WB, "serum samples possessing reactivity to HTLV-III p41 and/or p24 were scored positive.
  Journal of the American Medical Association 1985 254, 2599-2602.1985
Heterosexual transmission of AIDS.
 Pearce, R.B.
  "The mere absence of data to the contrary does not by itself make the opposite assertion true; if it did, science would be a much simpler thing. While it is true that in Africa the incidence of AIDS and infection with [HIV] is nearly equal among men and women, we ought not automatically assume that heterosexual transmission of the AIDS virus is likely here...parasitic disease has been found repeatedly to be a risk factor for seropositivity to the AIDS virus or AIDS itself in Africa and Venezuela"
  Journal of the American Medical Association 1986 256, 590-591.1986
AIDS in Africa, In Search of the Truth
 Malan Rian
  "The Uganda Virus Research Institute is possibly Africa's greatest citadel of HIV studies. Seated on a hilltop overlooking Lake Victoria and generously funded by the British government, the UVRI employs around 200 scientists and support personnel, runs an array of advanced AIDS studies, tests experimental drugs, labors to produce an AIDS vaccine and has generated scores of scientific papers during the past decade.In 1999, the Institute screened thousands of blood samples using ELISA tests that has achieved excellent results in a WHO evaluation. Test-driven in a lab in Antwerp, Belgium, one test scored 99.1 percent accuracy, while the other achieved a perfect 100. But in the field, in Africa, it was another story entirely. There, exactly 3,369 samples came up positive on one ELISA, but only 2,237 of those (66 percent) remained positive after confirmatory testing. In other words: a third of Ugandans who tested positive on at least one of these supposedly near-perfect ELISAs were not carrying the virus. What does this say about countries where AIDS statistics are based on a single ELISA? A high-ranking source at UVRI - one who insisted on anonymity - said that the WHO estimates for AIDS in such countries could be as much as one-third higher than they actually are."
  RollingStone magazine, November 22, 20012001
False-Positive Self-Reports of HIV Infection
 Chifumbe Chintu, et. al.
  No abstract / Pubmed
  The Lancet, Vol. 349 (March 1, 1997), p. 649.1997
The AIDS problem in Africa.
 Biggar, R. J.
  “Since the reliability of ELISA test for the measurement of HTLV-III/LAV antibody in Africa sera has been questioned, the extent of this problem remains uncertain”
  Lancet 1986 I, 79-831986