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The Western Blot strip is a strip with ten bands, corresponding to 10 proteins.


Slide 13 of 24

If you count the horizontal lines in the electrophoresis strips from two slides ago there’s at least 40. Here are the ten the HIV experts selected from this 40 to be the HIV proteins. When these are put in a paper strip they’re known as a Western blot antibody test. Said to be the most specific HIV test and if positive diagnostic of HIV infection. The way it is done is by adding serum to the strip and seeing which proteins bands light up. Set combinations are said to prove infection. Others don’t. How the experts know the code is a complete mystery. As we will shortly see.

As far as our group is concerned these ten proteins are still cellular but, in spite of that, there’s no doubt AIDS patients develop antibodies that react with various numbers of them. This is what is meant by being HIV positive. Why should this happen?