Cell/Virus culture is often claimed to result in 'isolation' of HIV. However, this is a very complicated procedure, with lots of opportunities for misinterpretation of data, and with very vague outcomes. Cell/virus cultures are a combination of an immortal line of cancerous cells, a sample of cells or fluids from a potentially HIV-infected person and stimulating chemicals, some very toxic. Detection of one of a number of non-specific phenomena (e.g. reverse transcriptase activity, p24 antigen, production of particles about the size and shape of a retrovirus or even merely cell-killing behaviour) in this witches brew is assumed to be proof of the presence of HIV in the original sample. However, none of these phenomena are specific to a retrovirus, let alone HIV.
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© Copyright February 15, 2016: Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society