Protest as Channel 4 News joins HIV Test Cover-up

1 Dec. 1998

On World AIDS Day, Tuesday 1st December, members of Truth In HIV Testing (TIHT) - including HIV positive diagnosed individuals - will be protesting outside Channel 4 News offices at ITN, Grays Inn Road, WC1, from 9.30 a.m.

Channel 4 News commissioned a World AIDS Day News Report from award-winning Meditel Productions, London, on HIV testing and the leading scientists who for the first time presented comprehensive data on profound inaccuracies underlying HIV testing and the identification of HIV, at this year's World AIDS Conference in Geneva in July. Channel 4 News supervised 4 drafts of the script and approved a press release and broadcast date. International interviews were taped, and the news feature was edited at Channel 4 News, including an interview with a young gay man who had contradictory test results at London teaching hospitals. On Thursday 26th Nov., the commissioned report was banned by Channel 4 News Editor Jim Gray.

After further negotiation Channel 4 News proposed to broadcast an unspecified part of Meditel's material in a substantially cut, re-edited version presented by Channel 4 News. Independent producer Joan Shenton rejected this.

TIHT challenges and condemns this censorship by Channel 4 News. HIV tests are acknowledged professionally as deeply flawed and unreliable. Attachted is a scientifically referenced list of 61 non-HIV conditions that can produce positive results on this widely unquestioned testing technology. In keeping with the well documented absence of traditional viral isolation of HIV, the head of the UK's policy-making Virus Reference Laboratory (PHLS), Dr. Philip Mortimer, wrote as far back as 1989, "It may be impossible to relate an antibody response specifically to HIV infection".

Manufacturers of test kits agree. Regarding the only type of HIV antibody test routinely used in the UK since 1992, called an ELISA, manufacturers Abbott Laboratories say:
"ELISA testing alone cannot be used to diagnose AIDS, even if the recommended investigation of reactive specimens suggests a high probability that the antibody to HIV is present."

Roche Diagnostics, manufacturers of the popular 'HIV viral load' test, likewise say of the genetic 'HIV testing kits':

"The Amplicor HIV Monitor test is not intended to be used as a screening test for HIV or as a diagnostic test to confirm the presence of HIV infection."

The news report which Channel 4 News commissioned would have dispelled some of the comfortable ignorance around these ideologically charged issues.

The protest is prompted by the deep injustice of this unethical withholding of informed coverage, as it is understood by "test-positive" individuals and doctors, scientists and researchers world-wide. They demand an open airing of these issues, and a coherent representation in the media of the developments at the Geneva World AIDS Conference.

For further information contact: Huw Christie M.A. (Oxon), Editor, Continuum magazine, et al. Truth in HIV Testing (TIHT) Tel. 0171 713 7071/0956 833381, Fax. 0171 713 7072, email