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"To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay, right or justice."
Magna Carta - 15th June, 1215

 
No of entries selected: 4 of 711
1983
2 June
Dr M. D. Williams - Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital
A letter is sent to parents in the Coventry area by Dr M.D. Williams, Registrar in Haematology stating: "We are sure that you would be aware of the recent publicity about AIDS and the possible risk of this occurring in haemophiliacs using Factor VIII concentrate and we would like to monitor all our haemophiliacs because of this and we would therefore be grateful if you and your child could attend the Blood Bank for a blood test."

Note: This letter suggests that some sort of early blood test was available for HIV (probably termed HTLV-III) as early as June 1983. The date of the test is June 30th at Walsgrave Hospital Blood Bank, and the letter goes on to offer the results by 11 July 1983, which is just 11 days later.

Source: Link #1
Type: Letter
Location: UK
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1984
27 July
DHSS - Diagnostic Test for Antibodies to HTLV-III - being used prior to 27 July 84
In a letter from the DHSS, it is clear that there is a diagnostic test available for antibodies to HTLV-III and that it's being used prior to 27 July 1984:

"Since my minute of 6 July there have been further developments regarding the radio immunoassay for antibody to HTLV III. Some 2,000 tests have been carried out on AIDS patients..."

___________

Note: It is clear that in order for some 2,000 tests to have been carried out on Aids patients by the time the DHSS minute was written on 6th July 1984, the early diagnostic tests must have been available some months prior to this time...

Background: We know that by the Summer of 1984, the PHLS had access to 'in house' anti-HTLV-3 assays which were being developed in UK research laboratories.

Source: Link #1
Type: Recovered Document - DHSS Letter, Hannibal House. 27 July 1984
Location: UK
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1984
31 July
DHSS - Wider Availability of a Diagnostic Test For HTLV-III
In a DHSS letter of 31 July 1984, reference is made to the formation of a note, the contents of which reveal the intention to 'forestall the pressure' for the wider availability of a diagnostic test for HTLV-III - due to the experimental nature of the arrangements for the development of the test at an RTC:

"The note might also need to deal with the question of publicising the research in such a way as both to take credit for Government support for development of the test and to make it clear that the arrangements at the North West London RTC were experimental, ie to forestall pressure for the immediate availability of the test throughout the blood transfusion service and more generally through GPs and STD clinics." (Paragraph 3)

Note: It is not altogether clear what is being implied by this letter. However, it can be said that in a DHSS letter dated 4 days early (27 July 1984), that the radio immunoassay for antibody to HTLV III had already been used to test some 2,000 AIDS patients. (see additional source link below).

Source: Additional Source:
Link #2
Type: Recovered Document - DHSS letter, 31 July, 1984.
Location: UK
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1984
10 December
Early HTLV-III Antibody Test - Available Only on a Research Basis
In a meeting of the Haemophilia Reference Centre Directors in December 1984, the EARLY existence and availability (in 1984) of the HTLV-III Antibody screening test is discussed:

Dr Tedder: "the Gallo cell line was available for investigation although the USA had made the isolates difficult to obtain." (Page 1, item 2, point i)

Dr Craske: Under the subject heading "Availability of Tests", Dr Craske advised that currently, the reagents were only available on a research basis, and that substantial resources would be required to enable the proposed workload to be undertaken. (Page 2, point ii)

Source: Link #1
Type: Recovered Document - Notes of the Haemophilia Reference Centre Directors Meeting. 10 December 1984
Location: UK
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