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Mar 3, 2003


Since no one else wants to answer this question, and you might have some free time to address it once you've answered all the "I think you're hot" swooners which seems to prioritize your column, I thought I would ask you:

How will we tell the difference between people with natural antibodies against HIV to those with antibodies against a future HIV vaccine?

Response from Dr. Frascino


Now what makes you think I have any free time???

You ask a very good question, which I would love to answer in great detail, but it's beyond the scope of this forum (whether you are a "swooner" or not). Briefly, vaccines can be developed that would produce very specific and identifiable anti-HIV antibodies that are somewhat different than our "natural" antibodies. You are correct in assuming that some folks who receive some types of HIV vaccines would subsequently test positive on routine screening HIV tests that use antibodies as their mode for detection. However, these folks would not have active HIV infection, and therefore more sophisticated HIV screening tests could differentiate the two groups. Sorry if that's not very clear. The nitty gritty details are rather complex and difficult to explain. Now if you'll excuse me, I must return to the swooners.

Stay well.

Dr. Bob

Responsible student again
infected in may 02 + diagnosed in august 2002

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