New Fake Test to Target Poor

October 31, 2012

31 Oct – Its Halloween, so what better time for pharmaceutical companies to create a new HIV test that doesn’t detect HIV but generates fear and profits?  The Daily Mail (UK), Fox News and other agencies report that scientists at Imperial College in London have developed a new HIV test that is “10 times more sensitive and a fraction of the cost of current methods.”  The test uses “nanotechnology to give a result that can be seen with the naked eye by turning a sample red or blue.”

Research leader Molly Stevens, said: “Our approach affords for improved sensitivity, does not require sophisticated instrumentation and it is ten times cheaper… We would be able to detect infection even in those cases where previous methods, such as the saliva test, were rendering a ‘false negative’ because the viral load was too low to be detected,’” Stevens said, after the research was published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.”

 A closer look at the report reveals a critical flaw:

“The new sensor works by testing serum, a clear watery fluid derived from blood samples, in a disposable container for the presence of an HIV biomarker called p24.

“If p24 is present, even in minute concentrations, it causes the tiny gold nanoparticles to clump together in an irregular pattern that turns the solution blue.  A negative result separates them into ball shapes that generate a red color…”

The fact that dozens – if not HUNDREDS – of co-factors unrelated to HIV produce common proteins like P24, which means that this new test detects a protein produced by millions of healthy people who are not at any risk of ever becoming infected with HIV.  So like almost all other HIV tests on the market today, healthy people and incompetent clinicians who use this test without reading the package insert will be fooled into believing that they are infected with HIV when their blood simply contains a commonly found protein that doesn’t prove that HIV can be found in their blood.

The new test appears to be the latest variation on the same theme: Drug companies create tests to generate fear and hysteria that prompts healthy populations to seek more tests and drugs that will eventually injure and kill.

This strategy would seem implausible except that – since 2009 –  the pharmaceutical industry has paid $10 billion to settle thousands of criminal and civil complaints related to the illegal marketing of drugs that kill or injure 2-4 million Americans, ANNUALLY – paying millions of dollars in kickbacks and bribes to clinicians that unnecessarily prescribe deadly drugs to healthy patients.  The leading US HIV testing laboratories – Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp – have paid millions of dollars to settle allegations of fraud.   Both Quest and LabCorp denied wrongdoing.

This test is just more of the same.

For more information about HIV tests that do not detect HIV, see also: