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Any relation between viral inhibitors and antibodies?
Aug 16, 2000

Dr. Feinberg, I am trying desperately to get an answer on this subject. 3 mos ago I was exposed to HIV. I knew I had to wait at least 3 mos to get tested. The anxiety was too much for me so I started taking St. John's Wort to get my emotions under control. Last week I read in several medical journals that Hypericum, the active ingredient in St. John's Wort, "inhibits the binding and entry of the virus into host cells." This would restrict the virus' reproduction rate I assume. Would my body produce less antibodies in this case? Can I take any stock in the negative result I got at 3 mos and just retest at 6 to be 99% sure or do I need to wait another 6 mos? Did my "inhibiting" of the progression of the virus affect my production of antibodies?

Response from Dr. Feinberg

We tested a purer form of St John's wart (hypericin) a few years ago and found it to be toxic but not very effective against HIV. Your use of this product should not interfere with antibody production. I suggest you just get retested at the 6 month mark.

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