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Reappraisal of HIV testing needed

MagazineApril 1995 (Vol. 6 Issue 1)Reappraisal of HIV testing needed

Congratulations on your article on HIV testing (vol 5 no 4)


Congratulations on your article on HIV testing (vol 5 no 4). I have written to the British Medical Association and others to suggest a reappraisal of the testing process. This is overdue because it has been apparent since 1986 that false positive results and cross reactions were a problem with the ELISA test.

Refinements of the test and the corroboration of the Western Blot test were offered as reassurance, but there is still no independent standard.

Your article will almost certainly provoke a rebuttal. You may be asked about HIV positive babies because there is pressure in the US with support in Britain for giving all of them AZT.

There is no justification for this on present evidence.

Professor Gordon T Stewart (advisor to the World Health Organization), Bristol.

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