If HIV tests are not tracking an AIDS-causing virus, what are they detecting?

According to the Perth Group (among others), HIV tests are
not specific to HIV antibodies but rather reflect
physiological or oxidative stress,
which can arise from a wide range of challenges to health.
All the data from HIV tests are consistent with the Perth Group's view.

The frequency of positive HIV tests, F(HIV), depends on age, sex, race,
and health in a way that reflects physiology, not sexual behavior or
the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs):
This page was last updated: 11 September, 2007
What is HIV?
These and related points are detailed and documented in
Demographic characteristics of HIV:
II. What determines the frequency of positive HIV tests?
Journal of Scientific Exploration  20 (2006) 69--94
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These web pages and the articles mentioned
have now been superseded by this book:
The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory
McFarland,  April 2007, ISBN 978-0-7864-3048-2