Egyptian Government Duped by Nonsense HIV Detection Machine

fake detector

Fake Iraqi bomb detector (left). Egyptian Army breakthrough in disease detection (right).

This morning, the Egyptian State Information Service has issued a press release announcing that President Adly Mansour and Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi have been presented with the “first system for discovering and treating Hepatitis and AIDS patients.”

This is despite the device bearing an uncanny resemblance to the fake bomb detectors that were sold to the Iraqi security forces for millions of pounds by a British business man.  James McCormick was jailed for ten years and the judge told him he had ‘blood on his hands’ as unsuspecting people would have been relying on the device to find concealed explosives. The device is based on a novelty golf ball detector sold as a joke gift item. I have held one of these bomb detectors in my hands – and indeed, it feels like a comedy Christmas cracker toy. How it managed to fool anyone is beyond me.

However, the joke toy has re-emerged as a medical diagnostic device for serious disease. The press release states,

The Armed Forces personnel achieved a scientific breakthrough by inventing systems for diagnosing Hepatitis and AIDS without any need to take a sample of blood from the patient. The invention was registered in the name of the Engineering corps of the Armed Forces and was authorized by the Ministry of Health.

The associated patent gives light on how this device is supposed to work. It is pure pseudoscience. It tell us that each molecule has a “MOLECULAR SIGNATURE” which the device can hold an imprint of. This is meaningless nonsense. Given that the device I saw, had no obvious power, the patent tells us that the device is powered by ‘static energy resulting from the human body’. Again, nonsense.

Earlier in the year, the Guardian published a credulous article about this breakthrough. it has now been amended after the bleedin’ obvious was pointed out to them and several rebutalls have since been published. Suzi Gage noted its similarity to a divining rod – with similar prospects of success. Sile Lane of Sense about Science said that this device ‘offered hope and nothing more’. That is, false hope.

The blogger Pepijn van Erp has written about this extensively and spotted this latest development.

Just as the fake bomb detector killed people by promising to be able to detect bombs when it could not, this device will kill people by promising it can detect and treat people with life threatening disease. This is homeopathic science. Obvious nonsense. Unlike most quackery I write about, there are going to be people in this story who are quite aware that what they are doing is dishonest. The Egyptian government should, as a matter of urgency, submit this device to independent expert review. To people who are not associated with its invention or who will profit from its success or failure. And arrests made where appropriate. Thousands of lives depend on this and it is best done now before people die and politicians are put into more humiliating positions. The British government failed to do this, resulting in scores of deaths. One might hope the Egyptian government can learn from this and do better.

Update Feb 24 PM

Well that was quick. The Egyptian president has ordered an immediate review. Well done to all those who have flagged this up and written/tweeted etc.

President orders review of AIDS-detecting device

Presidential Scientific Adviser Essam Heggy has stressed necessity that Egyptian scientific institutions stick to international standards of scientific research, publishing and production ahead of declaring results reached.

Heggy posted on Facebook saying that President Adly Mansour ordered having the results reviewed by specialized scientific committees and then communicate with scientific research centers and institutions at the world’s capitals to ensure the results are correct.

Military Spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Ali earlier announced that armed forces came up to new results related to discovering infection with AIDS and Hepatitis C virus.

Meanwhile, Abdel Hamid Abaza, deputy health minister, told the state-run TV that the C-Fast apparatus, produced by the armed forces’ engineering authority is the first of its kind in the world to detect Hep C, adding that it’s considered a historic turn in the way of diagnosing and treating the virus in Egypt and the whole world. He explained that the study revealed its accuracy ranged between 98-100 percent.

Depending on the new system, according to Abaza, will save hundreds of millions of pounds for Egypt, that are paid for importing chemical substances used for analyzing the virus.


23 comments for “Egyptian Government Duped by Nonsense HIV Detection Machine

  1. JimR.
    February 24, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    This device keeps coming back. I wonder if its next appearance will be as a device to detect whether homeopathic meds will cure you. Maybe it will be used to detect subluxations of the spine. A far larger market for this bogey is to keep one by your home computer to monitor for spyware infections.

    I can’t think of any superfluous use as bad as HIV and bomb detection. This is criminal. According to the Guardian article it took a Brigadier and a 60 man dept. to build this.

    What kind of gov’t. do you have that accepts such obviously fake items?

    • Peter Robinson
      February 24, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Well, for a long time the UK Government supported and helped promote the Mole/GT200 explosives detector, even after a Home Office report in 2001 which was circulated in Whitehall said it was useless. So, no room for any smugness on our part about the Egyptian Government being taken in (or corrupt malarkey). Still, as below, possible good news…

  2. Peter Robinson
    February 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Possibly some good news???? We have reason to believe that since Pepijn published his blog post and the word has spread, the Egyptian Government has been inundated with calls from skeptical journalists and the following announcement may well be a result of that pressure..

    We won’t hold our breath, but hopefully, if they do carry out a proper independent review, we might see the C-FAST squashed before it is is put to wider use. Watch this space……..Potentially a little victory for online skeptical activism…..

  3. Peter Robinson
    February 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    A new development in this story:
    In the following video you will see the literally unbelievable C-FAST ‘detector’ developed in Egypt for diagnosing diseases such as Hep C and AIDS. I have covered this nonsense in another thread. this video they also present the CCD (Complete Cure Device). Watch and let us know what you think. Could it be true? My bet is unlikely, but am no medico so not qualified to judge.

  4. St. Simian
    February 25, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Maybe the Egyptian government resigned in shame and embarrassment at the scientific ignominy of being associated with this rubbish.

    Be nice if some politicians did the honourable thing for once.

  5. Egypt
    February 26, 2014 at 1:41 am

    hey me article writer, if you cant beleive get your patient and a ccure in egypt, i think you fucken sick writer and hate egypt or maybe jelous or loser :)

  6. February 26, 2014 at 2:35 am

    • February 26, 2014 at 2:39 am

      As you can see, this gets a lot worse and you can see from the Video with English translation. The fascist military regime in Egypt has obviously gone bananas and is on a desperate propaganda campaign.

    • Peter Robinson
      February 26, 2014 at 10:27 am

      AIDS is a kebab! That is priceless. If this guy retires from the army there is a great career ahead of him as a comedian. I wonder if they ever ask why Allah is so kind as to give us all these lovely diseases, and then to compound the problem, sends us fools like this to ‘cure’ us.

  7. Peter Robinson
    February 26, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Some good news from an Egyptian website. For those of you who speak Arabic, here is the link, and below the Google translation. Well done to Dr Heggy for standing up to the Egyptian Army!

    «scientific scandal of Egypt»

    Chief Scientific Adviser: Treatment alleged «scientific scandal of Egypt»

    Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 – 09:50:59 PM

    Shen, Dr. Essam Heggy, Science Advisor to the President of the Republic, a sharp attack on the invention of the armed forces to treat the virus «C» hepatitis and «AIDS», which was announced during the opening of a number of projects carried out by the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces, last Saturday, in the presence of President Adly Mansour and Dr. Hazem Beblawy Prime Minister «outgoing», and Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Sisi defense minister, describing innovation as «scientific scandal of Egypt» evidence and documents.

    He said «Haggai», in remarks «home», that the invention is not convincing and has no scientific basis and is clear from the fact demo of the device, which was broadcast on television channels, in addition to the research on innovation has not been published in any scientific journals prestigious, referring to the that «the subject of such sensitivity In my personal opinion hurts the image of the state, and would be counterproductive in scientific research, and I had hoped that there will be greater warned about what was said in the dissemination of such information».

    The scientific adviser to the president: I want to be clear and explicit, what has been said and published about the invention of the armed forces hurts the image of scientists and science in Egypt, pointing out at the same time that the foreign press will translate the press conference announcing which of the invention Medical Center, to be used negatively in the abuse of the image Egypt internationally.

    He disclosed that the President of the Republic and the Minister of Defense has not been A_i_arthma with display of information and details about the invention, and that individual effort for some people, stressing that the President Adly Mansour, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Sisi surprised what was said about the invention without reference to them, and that attending the Conference of the announcement of the device does not mean agreeing upon .

    «International scientific research»: lack of clear description and fine details
    He said «Haggai» It did not have any background prior to this conference, and he was hoping not to hold a press conference or to be announced only after consulting Egyptian scientists in the field of liver disease, and AIDS, adding that all the scientists who are working inside and outside Egypt are infected shock of the invention, Because it has no scientific basis, and that the invention overcome the logic of scientific and human in proving the effectiveness of this device in the treatment of patients with HIV «C», pointing out that the worst thing is the videos and directories that have been published about the innovation of the armed forces, and considered it as a «shock scientific and bad publicity for the project ». He said that after his return next week from the United States, which he is visiting currently, will meet with the President and the Secretary of Defense to discuss what happened scientifically, and that he would convey the entire picture, to coordinate with after any announcement for scientific research, stressing that it will be published clarification from the presidency on this invention. He added: I am a consultant Scientific for the presidency do not support this discovery very clearly, and I contacted the president personally spoke with him was introduced, and the President «Mansour» and Marshal «Sisi» went to attend the opening of projects, medical and scientific armed forces without being put on notice the details of these achievements, so it did not The auditing of research before displaying details in a formal conference, pointing out that they were surprised discovery, also was surprised by the scientists and physicians of the armed forces as well, and supposed that science is not the diplomacy, and it is an insult to Egypt at home and abroad, and is not the first time that this has happened.

    Dr Essam Heggy that he has documents to prove that the invention of the armed forces is not scientific, and the first document which is a message search, who invented a medical device on the basis, that the search did not include details of scientific innovation clearly and precisely, and all the contents of an image device and a summary of the year for the way it works and this does not apply to scientific research, and the second document, a copy of the research published in a scientific journals is internationally known, inter alia third document provides a summary of the scientific research International in which she says: «This research has nothing to do scientific research, and does not represent the world and is building on the precise details of the discovery ».

    Summary detect body of scientific research for international research on the invention for it lacks the description is clear and precise details of the functioning of the device, did not materialize, the requirement to provide sufficient information about it, as indicated by the terms of international

  8. February 28, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    mr peter robinson when you don’t know anything about medico then try to keep quite and not give opinion for others

    • St. Simian
      March 1, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      I don’t know much about birds but you do not need to have a Nobel Prize in Ornithology to recognise a duck when you see one.

      The mindless quacking, squawking and shitting all over the place by the duck and it’s canardy colleagues merely confirms the diagnosis.

      Nor do you need a Nobel in Medicine to answer Peter’s question that this is indeed quack nonsense.

  9. Harry S
    March 1, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    What worried me about this story was the almost entirely uncritical reporting of it by the BBC

    • St. Simian
      March 1, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      That’s B.A Meeja Studeez or P.P.E for you.

  10. March 2, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    The website Egyptian Chronicles has some very nice blogs on this scandal (looks like it’s going to be a longer serie). The army doctor from the press conference in the video is not a real doctor, but an herbalist and faith healer. He’s not even a real general, see

  11. Sawdust Sam
    March 4, 2014 at 11:20 pm
    • St. Simian
      March 9, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      You have to love the bit where the atomic physicist said: “I’m an expert in this field and I know what I’m talking about.” What more is there to be said given his obvious expertise.

      He also said “Maybe I’m wrong but a scientific guy at the same level of competence like me should disprove me, not the BBC.”

      I am not sure where I could find a scientific guy at the same level of quack incompetence. My cat could disprove him and he can’t even read.

      Not much of a plug for the standards of their patent office is it.

  12. JimR
    March 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    A broadcast from Riyahd, S.A. by an Egyptian satirist was jammed in Egypt. Among other things he had lampooned previously was this announcement.

  13. kin
    March 12, 2014 at 11:03 am

    egypt is great to cure such deadly desease..

  14. April 24, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Another gadget to add to the list of medical Santorum passing for News. That silly Egyptian General’s(sic) video was a feature article on the CBC and aired on most North American nightly news programs. One must wonder where the vetting medical practitioners the news programs hire were being schmoozed by pharmaceutical companies that day. It even garnered a positive response from the Canadian Parliament announcing it will begin researching the device and claims seriously this Spring. How much $$$ gets wasted this way?

  15. Peter Robinson
    May 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Despite the previous outcry at the announcement of the C-Fast, Pepijn Van Erp has sent a link which shows the Egyptian Army are continuing to promote this nonsense. I have done a Google translate, but if anyone is able to provide a better translation please feel free. Please not the range of colours! Clearly a way to enhance the efficacy!

    Pictures .. ” Engineering Authority Armed Forces ” exposure detectors for viruses after the exhibition and inventor .. Medical devices : We got approval for the use of health ” C Fast ” and conducting experiments on a ” Corona ”

    Thursday, May 8th, 2014 – 22:30
    Devices virus-detection devices to detect viruses

    Large banners hanging on the outer gate of the conference hall in Nasr City , greets you before you enter the exhibition ‘s official equipment of hospitals and medical facilities EgyMedica, in its fourth century, to notify you that the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces offer within the exhibition ” The latest detection devices for viruses remotely , without sampling patient , “he wrote on the signs .

    By accessing the exhibition hall , divided to showcase the latest innovations companies specializing in medical equipment, find a few meters on the right hand portion of the Authority Engineering of the Armed Forces , which has attracted ever online exhibition , to display all types of diagnostic devices remotely “Fast-Series”, on top of the device ” C – Fast ” , your diagnosis of virus C , next to the new types of these devices , which is still under experiment, the most important of your device diagnosis Corona virus .

    Not only was the display devices , but have seen the hall display all the certificates , which serve to conduct scientific experiments on those devices , as well as the approvals of the Ministry of Health for the use of two diagnostic “C-Fast” and “I-Fast”, which are offered on the table subject by hardware models , next to put all the approvals in a large plate suspended in one aspect of the part dedicated to the engineering of the show, has also been put screen to view videos own experiments conducted on those devices and explain the idea of ​​work and saw her specialists .

    “There is a big difference between the devices diagnose viruses and between your treatment of viral hepatitis C and AIDS,” This was confirmed by Colonel doctor Ahmed Amin Ibrahim , the inventor of diagnostic devices remotely , explaining that the theory of the work of these devices is in the capture device by slice placed inside , signals magnetic issued for a specific type of virus , Laket programming device to pick one type of virus , while the device for treating viral C and AIDS , which was not covered by the exhibition , based on the theory of the work of the other , which is directed by infected blood through the device and subjected to waves of rays affect the virus directly , pointing out that the patient is cured after a specified number of sessions.

    He added that for a diagnosis of virus C ” C – Fast ” , and was getting approvals from the Ministry of Health using the device after conducting all experiments it to 5 thousand patients , and that the largest three specialized research centers liver disease , which is the Institute of Liver and Colleges of Medicine , Ain Shams The Kasr El Aini , next to conduct experiments in research centers in India and Pakistan , the success rates reached 93.4 % , pointing out that similar diagnostic devices , and due to be adopted in the diagnosis of viruses , ” Pei virus , malaria and seasonal flu ,” is still on probation .

    With regard to a diagnosis of HIV Corona , recently announced , Ibrahim pointed out that the experiment was conducted on only one patient , who confirmed hit by the virus in Egypt , next to the vote on the samples of the virus to make sure that the direction of the device to another virus , pointing out that it is due , in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Egyptian , agreed to conduct additional experiments on the device , Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates , there are many confirmed cases of ” Corona ” them.

    As for a cure viral C and AIDS , known Pkompelat Cure , stressed Colonel doctor facilitate Abdel Aal , that the armed forces honest in announcing this device and start using it in the treatment of patients in the first of July next , explaining that he will announce all the details relating to the conference press release scheduled for the end of next June , before the start of use of the device for treatment directly , which will be the Declaration of all scientific procedures followed during the phases of testing it, and that was to question the authenticity.

    Regarding the attack , who witnessed the device after announced , pointed Abdel Aal that the attack was caused by way of advertising , because they were not included scientific details about the device , and was confined to the announcement of the discovery is propaganda , which made the percentage of doctors object to the way the announcement of the device , pointing that there is a committee formed under the guidance of field Marshal Abdel Fattah Sisi , the former defense minister , and Gen. Sedky Sobhy , the current defense minister , the membership of professors, experts in the field of armed forces and the Ministry of Health , universities and the National Research Center , in order to develop a protocol therapeutic device is used according to him, will be announced this protocol the end of June , explaining that hospitals will be determined by the use of the device will be out in cooperation between the armed forces and the Ministry of Health , for the treatment of patients with C virus , which is a ” national security .”

  16. JimR
    June 29, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Blurb in the US papers this week that the machine has been withdrawn for another 6 months of testing.
    have updates on the device.

    It was to be rolled out for use on Monday, June 30

  17. Peter Robinson
    July 9, 2014 at 9:17 am

    As Jim R pointed out, latest news is that the C-Fast and Complete Cure Devices have been delayed. Word from an Egyptian blogger is that this is likely to be the end of these jokes and that the six months additional testing is just a face saving way of slowly backing away. Hopefully that is correct, although we will have to wait to see.

    Hopefully the brave opponents in Egypt, along with the international furore (kicked off by Pepijn Van Erp in Holland), were behind this climb down.

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