HIV Tests “Not Sensitive Enough”

"Well, I don't see any HIVs floating around in here... wait, is this cranberry juice?"
“Well, I don’t see any HIVs floating around in here… wait, is this cranberry juice?  I knew I should have gone to medical school.”

I found this story written by Kate Kelland in the Independent Online somewhat alarming.  A few years ago, there was a lot of celebration as doctors thought they found a cure for full blown AIDS that involved a leukemia patient receiving a bone marrow transplant.  A second AIDS and leukemia patient also underwent the treatment shortly thereafter and was also pronounced by his doctors as cured of HIV after a series of tests.

After a while, they stopped taking the expensive cocktail of drugs meant to treat the disease.  Well, after a period of time, the HIV virus has reemerged in both men.

Kelland’s article is shockingly positive, focusing on what doctors and scientists have learned about HIV.

Scientists seeking a cure for Aids say they have been inspired, not crushed, by a major setback in which two HIV positive patients believed to have been cured found the virus re-invading their bodies once more.

“It’s a setback for the patients, of course, but an advance for the field because the field has now gained a lot more knowledge,” said Steven Deeks, a professor and HIV expert at the University of California, San Francisco.

He and other experts say the primary practical message is that current tests designed to detect even very low levels of HIV present in the body are simply not sensitive enough.

Read that last paragraph again and think about the consequences of what that means for the over five million Americans who receive a blood transfusion every year.  I am by no means a doctor, but as someone who may need a blood transfusion at some point in his life, the fact that HIV tests aren’t sensitive enough to detect the presence of the virus in a known HIV patient is alarming.

According to the Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, only about 1 in 2 million transfusions may transmit the HIV virus.  That’s a small risk, but keep in mind that for the 2 or 3 Americans who contract HIV through the transfusion every year, those numbers don’t mean much.   And now that we know that the tests being used aren’t sensitive enough, you have to wonder if anyone who receives a transfusion is escaping below the radar only to be diagnosed years later after exposure to any number of other transmitters.

There’s a lot of political jargon that goes on about the need to find a cure for HIV AIDS, and I certainly am not opposed to this line of research with the hope that, someday, a medical cure is made available.

However, there is already a cure available and it’s pretty straight forward.  It’s called prevention.  Don’t stick sterile needles into your body, have sex with fewer than two partners in your lives, and don’t touch the fluids of people who may not follow the previous two guidelines.  True, that may seem exceptionally harsh on sexual deviants, drug users, and vampires… but it works.  If everybody did that, HIV and AIDS would be decimated in only a few generations.

But no, no, no.  Liberals can’t have that.  Let’s give our kids condoms in elementary schools.  Let’s make sure young girls can go to Planned Parenthood for an abortion without the consent of her parents.  Let’s teach our kids that safe sex is anything that’s designed to prevent pregnancy.  Let’s not warn them about the plethora of sexually transmitted diseases that this behavior may expose them to.  Let’s ignore the increased risk of HIV in the homosexual community.  Let’s encourage sexual relationships with multiple partners!  Let’s provide free needles to drug addicts!  Let’s legalize gateway drugs! Let’s belittle and censor anybody who says their values have any value outside of a church building.

Because there are liberals in this world who will do whatever horrible things they want to and justify it with relativism, and because the victims of their foolish behavior are never limited to themselves, we have to resign ourselves that HIV isn’t going away without a medical cure.

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Kevin Tracy is an Air Force veteran, terrorism/counterterrorism expert, and jack of all trades. KTracy's day job is designing electrical systems for new fossil power plants and environmental solutions. On the side, he keeps a blog, fundraises for political candidates and the St. Baldrick's Foundation, writes and illustrates comic books, and studies foreign affairs in depth.

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