HIV tests are antibody tests, they do not test for the presence of viruses. Contrary to what people are told about antibodies, antibodies are not always specific. For example let's say you want to produce a monoclonal antibody for disease research. First you would take a blood sample and separate the serum. You then take an antigen test target and place it in the serum sample so antibodies attach to this antigen target. Though these antibodies are not all specific. They are a mixture of high affinity (specific) and low affinity (non-specific) antibodies. Of course all of these antibodies cannot be used to make monoclonals. So the antigen test target is placed in a weak solution of sodium sulfate solution to strip off the less specific antibodies. The target is then placed in a slightly stronger solution to remove the slightly more specific antibodies. This process is repeated until only high affinity antibodies, with an extremely high level of specificity are left. These are then used to make monoclonals. The reason this is so important is because this same principle is used in HIV antibody testing. Though in this case the antibodies are not differentiated. So low affinity antibodies reacting on HIV test targets yield false positives. This is the primary reason HIV antibody tests are known to have over 65 known causes for false positives! Examples in these cases would be false positives due to pregnancy, flu vaccines, typhoid vaccines, polio vaccines, malaria vaccines, gamma globulin, BLV antibodies from cow's milk or beef, and viral hepatitis. Autoimmune disorders, especially lupus, are also known to yield false positives. The risk of false positives increases with autoimmune conditions because the immune system shifts from producing predominately high affinity antibodies to predominately low affinity antibodies. The higher level of low affinity antibodies increases the risk of false positives on antibody tests. To further compound the problem the primary test for HIV is the ELISA, which is supposed to be confirmed by the Western blot. Though Western blot is less accurate than ELISA. The only reason it is done this way is because ELISA is less expensive than Western blot. But to use a less accurate test as a confirmation is just totally ludicrous!
Another problem with antibody tests is they do not prove the presence of a virus for another reason. Let’s say for an example that I had the flu from a influenza virus 2 weeks ago. So I am no over the flu. If I get tested for influenza antibodies am I going to test positive or negative? I am going to test positive of course, because my immune system has successfully fought off the virus, yielding anti-influenza antibodies in the process. So I would be influenza antibody positive, but virus negative. The same applies to HIV testing. If you are exposed to the HIV virus but your immune system is strong enough to fight it off you will have the antibodies temporarily, yielding a false positive HIV test, but you are still virus negative. It was proven a long time ago that the HIV virus cannot infect healthy immune systems.
Then there is the question of what really causes AIDS. HIV was stated as the cause by Robert Gallo after he got busted for scientific fraud. He tried to reclaim his credibility by claiming before a world wide AIDS symposium that he had found the cause of AIDS, which he claimed was HIV. The problems with this claim? Well, first of all he made it up! And secondly he was wrong! He had absolutely no solid research to back his claim. But the world was scared and had no answers. So when Gallo lied again the media did not stop to question the fact that there was no evidence of the claim. So they ran with the claim and it has been a part of AIDS history since. As far as Gallo being wrong, you need to understand what AIDS is to understand why he was wrong. AIDS is not a disease, it is a syndrome, acquired immune deficiency syndrome. A syndrome is not a disease, it is a group of symptoms. So if you develop certain symptoms you are given an AIDS diagnosis. Well under the original definition of AIDS, which was only opportunistic infections, HIV could not cause AIDS! So the government was really in a pickle. Here one of their top scientists had lied and was busted for scientific fraud making the
Now for the rest of the story. Gallo had to lie because he had more than his credibility at stake. Gallo also held the patent rights to the HIV tests. So as long as people could be fooled in to believing that HIV caused AIDS he would continue to make a fortune off of royalties to his HIV tests!
So under the new definition HIV can cause AIDS, but not under the original definition. The only things that are known to cause AIDS under the original definition are the virus Human Herpes Virus Type 6 variant A (HHV6-A) and the drug AZT (zidovudine), which destroys the bone marrow leading to a drop of stem cells. This in turn leads to a drop of all immune cells, including CD4 cells. The drop in CD4 cells leads to an AIDS diagnosis as does the opportunistic infections created by AZT collapsing the immune system. But that is a whole other story, along with how AIDS came about, etc.
Here is another write up I did on inaccuracies of HIV testing with an explanation of polymerase chain reaction (PCR, viral load), and why it cannot prove the presence or activity of a virus:
What you are asking is absolutely impossible to provide or prove. This is because there is no way to determine the cause of AIDS in the first place. Let's say for example that HIV could cause opportunistic infections, which constituted the original definition. How would we determine whether or not the HIV virus is even present? People are under the false assumption that a positive HIV test means that you are infected with the HIV virus. But as I pointed out this is false. First of all there are over 65 KNOWN causes for false positives on HIV tests, which are antibody tests, not tests for viruses. Most of these false positives occur from serological cross reactivity, which means antibodies of like structure will cross react yielding a false positive. Antibodies in gammaglobulin can also react false positive. And exposure, without chronic infection, will yield false positives. In the last example let's say that I get the influenza (flu) virus. After a few weeks I have successfully fought it off. Yet if I go and get an antibody test I will test positive. Does this mean I have the influenza virus? Of course not! Well, the same applies to the use of ELISA and Western blot tests in connection with HIV. S o as we can clearly see an HIV+ test does not prove infection with the HIV virus.
So we have a "confirmation" test called viral load or PCR (polymerase chain reaction). Though can we rely on these? The answer is no! A gain contrary to popular belief PCR DOES NOT prove the presence of a particular virus. PCR only amplifies sections of genetic material, not the whole virus. Yet other viruses share a lot of the genetics of HIV. For instance the closest known relative to HIV is the sheep maedna visna virus (SVV), which has 53% of the genetic markers of HIV. Bovine leukemia virus is the second closest known relative with 51% of the genetic markers and shares the same genetic coding for the production of reverse transcriptase. Therefore the amplification of the genetics of these viruses, or others, can yield false positives. Exposure to the genetics of these viruses can come from lamb, beef, and dairy. Another problem with PCR is its extreme sensitivity makes it very prone to cross contamination, which has been demonstrated many times. For instance, there was a claim that a British sailor died of HIV induced AIDS back in 1950. PCR of preserved tissues seemed to back this claim, but it was later proven that the samples were contaminated in the lab. And wild caught monkeys were thought to have harbored the HIV, or a similar virus, because of a PCR test. Again it was found that the samples were contaminated in the lab, and the monkeys were not harboring any viruses. PCR is also limited by other factors, such as annealing time, which can alter results. So as we can see there is absolutely no way to prove that a person is infected with HIV.
Keep in mind that HIV does not cause AIDS under the original definition of AIDS. The only virus that can cause AIDS under the original definition is human herpes virus type 6- variant A. The HIV hypothesis was started by Robert Gallo after he already got busted for scientific fraud. He had a financial interest in promoting his HIV causes AIDS lie because he held the patent rights to the HIV test . So as long as the world believed his lie he was making a fortune. To cover up Gallo's second lie to the world the government changed the definition of AIDS to include the drop in CD4 counts since this is all HIV could do.