It surprises me again and again how the defenders of the HIV/AIDS theory fail to understand the simple logic of the gold standard problem and respond properly with reasonable arguments. I'll put this as clearly as I can right now:
* Think about it like the gold standard used for pregnancy tests: The development of an embryo/baby, the state of pregnancy.
* Pregnancy is the gold standard for the pregnancy tests, to put it simply. So you can verify the quality of a pregnancy test by checking whether or not the women who test positive are pregnant, and those who test negative are not. This can easily be controlled by following the women and examining which give birth/have a miscarriage etc. and which women live normally without any biological activities related to pregnancy. [like hcG production levels, which is used as a basis for pregnancy tests] For example experience shows that sonograms like this are very strong evidence for pregnancy, unlikely to be a false positive: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Embryo_at_14_weeks_profile.JPG
* Similarly, in order to verify the quality of the HIV test you have to check whether or not the person who tests positive really has a virus in his/her blood. That's what's missing and it is a huge problem. Literally, nobody ever purified HIV directly from a so called "AIDS patient" and compared the real presence of a virus to the test results.
That's the most fundamental thing scientists should've been paying attention to since 1984, yet to this day they're either unaware of this problem or they pretend/claim that it's not a problem without giving any rational reason. The process the virologists refer to as "isolation" is scientifically not sufficient to claim that a virus is present.
UPDATE (March 20, 2009 - after comment no 5):
I noticed that some people still have a hard time grasping all this. I'll directly quote from Wikipedia now:
In medicine, gold standard test refers to a diagnostic test or benchmark that is regarded as definitive. This can refer to diagnosing a disease process, or the criteria by which scientific evidence is evaluated. For example, in resuscitation research, the "gold standard" test of a medication or procedure is whether or not it leads to an increase in the number of neurologically intact survivors that walk out of the hospital. Other types of medical research might regard a significant decrease in 30-day mortality as the gold standard.
A hypothetical ideal "gold standard" test has a sensitivity, or statistical power, of 100% (it identifies all individuals with a disease process; it does not have any false-negative results) and a specificity of 100% (it does not falsely identify someone with a condition that does not have the condition; it does not have any false-positive results). In practice, there are no ideal "gold standard" tests.
Because tests can be incorrect (either a false-negative or a false-positive result), results should be interpreted in the context of the history, physical findings, and other test results in the individual that is being tested. It is within this context that the sensitivity and specificity of the "gold standard" test is determined.
Sometimes it takes a lot of effort for people to be able to stretch their awareness a bit. Here's another definition:
gold standard,1 an accepted test that is assumed to be able to determine the true disease state of a patient regardless of positive or negative test findings or sensitivities or specificities of other diagnostic tests used.2 an acknowledged measure of comparison of the superior effectiveness or value of a particular medication or other therapy as compared with that of other drugs or treatments.
Getting clearer now? Is there "an accepted test that is assumed to be able to determine the true disease state of a patient regardless of positive or negative test findings or sensitivities or specificities of other diagnostic tests used" for the so called "HIV" ? Like perhaps EMs of the purified virus?
UPDATE (May 12th): This is quite relevant. Darin Brown takes a critical look at the usage and the perception of the term "gold standard": ...By its very nature, a “gold standard” is a decision procedure which can actually be implemented to produce a binary result (yes/no). The only way a “gold standard” can be “hypothetical” or “ideal” is if it represents some figurative, imaginative, or ill-formed impression of a pathological state in the mind of the clinician...
He is right and he makes important points. Read his entire comment if you care about the topic. I don't know how I can implement his arguments into the above text just yet. Plus I don't have time.
More yet again: