High proportion of positive HIV tests are false in low risk populations.

In low risk populations, the proportion of false positive HIV tests is high, on the order of 50%.

So, if universal HIV testing is implemented, as some propose, with half the positive tests beng false, what recourse do those wrongly stigmatized have? No small matter, as those testing positive are told to have only protected sex, meaning they will be childless, terminating their future families. In the case of Africa, 25 million or so families.

The answer is, not much in the way of recourse. The isolation of HIV from patients is at best difficult, expensive, and rarely done. In an Adelaide court case, some contended it has never been done.

Some suggest using the PCR (also called viral load) to detect the presence of a claimed HIV protein, but the PCR is prohibited from use in diagnosis (for adults), and has a number of concerns, including a scientific paper which found that PCR results did not correlate with immune system status.

Another suggestion is to retest the sample. That approach works for dice - a second roll is unlikely to come up snake eyes again. In dice however, assuming fair dice, each roll or trial is independent of the prior one. For retesting to be valid, each trial must be independent.

In contrast, retesting the same sample, or even a second sample from the same person, is not independent - the same antibody that confused the first test is likely to confuse the second, being still present in the sample.

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