Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm gonna be rich!

The Conspiracy Factory is about to become $50,000 richer! That's right, it's a no-lose, money-making proposition that I've come upon, and I daresay that I'm a little reluctant to share it with you, dear readers, for fear that you'll beat me to the punch...

Ok, I'll share, but keep it a secret, will you? I just recently became aware of a $50,000 challenge. All I have to do is demonstrate the following:

Alive & Well will present a cash award of $25,000 to the first person to locate a study that provides us with the missing scientific proof that HIV tests are accurate. To celebrate this important finding, Alive and Well will donate an additional $25,000 to Heifer International, a unique charity working to end hunger in the developing world by using a holistic approach to building sustainable communities.

The missing evidence we’re looking for is a study published in a peer reviewed medical journal that shows the validation of any HIV test by the direct isolation of HIV from the fresh, uncultured fluids or tissues of positive testing persons.

Since no HIV test directly detects HIV itself, and since the tests currently used to diagnose HIV infection rely on surrogate markers such as antibodies or genetic material, a study should exist somewhere in the published medical literature which shows that at least one type of surrogate test for HIV has been validated for accuracy by the direct isolation of HIV itself from people who test antibody, RNA or DNA positive.
Okay, I'll confess, I don't know what the heck "Since no HIV test directly detects HIV itself" means, so I've written this letter to ask for clarification. Here is the e-mail that I sent to Aliveandwell.org today:
To Whom It May Concern:

I am a humble pseudonymous blogger. I am deeply interested in collecting your $50,000 reward. However, I confess that I don't entirely understand the rules of your contest. Given that it's been a few months since you offered this challenge, and presumably no one has collected, I am a bit concerned about what the "catch" is, so to speak.

What are the exact rules in this contest? Who will judge whether or not I have proven your demand? Obviously this is the most important question, as an interested observer could prevent me from collecting the $50,000, even if I present reasonable proof.

I look forward to hearing from you, and look forward even more to collecting my half of the $50,000 (and to distributing the other half to the charity Heifer International).

Best regards,

What do you think? Am I going to be rich?



lrector said...

Okay, maybe I'm misreading their blather - er - terms, but doesn't this site: http://pathport.vbi.vt.edu/pathinfo/pathogens/HIV.html list quite a few incidents of isolating HIV from AIDS patients?

Can we split the 50k? <grin>

The Factician said...

I'm not an HIV researcher (though I am a microbiologist). In about 5 minutes on PubMed, I was able to find papers all the way back to 1988 that (to me) satisfy their written requirements as posted on their website.

But I'm waiting on the fine print. I'll keep you posted.

lrector said...

Heck, I'm just a geek, and I found this in about 2 minutes on Google.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away.


CCBC said...

I think what the contest demands is that you isolate the HIVirus itself, stick it in a petri dish, and watch it thrive. HIV is detected in people via identifying antibodies. The virus itself is seldom present in tests or experiments; these are done on genetic strings characteristic of the virus. It would be very difficult to meet the conditions of this contest. The real question is, do these conditions show a misunderstanding of microbiology? The AIDS deniers pretend that Koch (or somebody) created a "law" that states certain conditions under which an organism may be said to cause a disease. Of course, vaccination was used to counter smallpox long before the Variola virus was ever discovered and public health measures designed to prevent infection by viruses have had an impact on AIDS but these facts mean nothing to Consipracy Believers.

The Factician said...


You're right that HIV is usually clinically tested for by antibodies, and sometimes tested for by PCR. But there are VOLUMES of papers where they tested subjects by PCR or by antibodies, and then isolated the virus. It is a myth that HIV has only been isolated once. That's why I'm looking for the fine print.

But I'm still waiting. After a week, I think I'm going to call.

CCBC said...

I did some searching and found that, if fact, the HIVirus has been isolated and cultured and Koch's Postulates are answered: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/evidhiv.htm So my view of denialism is dated, I suppose. I recall Duesberg back in the 80s saying the question rested on what happened to the people who got transfusions of HIV tainted blood. Of course they all got AIDS. That should have shut Duesberg up but he then moved on to blame the blood products.

ERV said...


I do this all the time!

I can do it tomorrow!

Tell me when they send you the fine print! Well split it!

The Factician said...


Heh, still waiting...

PalMD said...

I;m not sure what kind of proof is acceptable, b.ut we certainly test for antibodies (Elisa, Western Blot) and for virus (RNA).
I think they have a fundamental misunderstanding of what a virus is...RNA, proteins stuck together...they are all detected quite easily, and you can pull up a picture of HIV on a cell in 5 secs on the web.

harrellgraham said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Factician said...


You're welcome to post here. You're welcome to disagree with me.

But you've done one of the few things that I delete comments for: copy-paste spam. You're welcome to refer us to other blogs or webpages, but please limit your comments to your own words, or to short, attributed quotes.

That seems reasonable, doesn't it?