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opportunistic infections and IGIV
Feb 7, 2000

The use of intravenous gamma globulin (IGIV)has successfully prevented opportunistic infections in my mother's case. Her immune system has been diminished by the effects of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, CLL, and the resulting treatment. IGIV is expensive and in short supply. Dr. Joseph Hertell of Atlanta, Georgia writes of some success using intramuscular gamma globulin which is inexpensive and plentiful. Are you aware of any work in this area, and would your experience suggest similar positive results with the intramuscular product?

Response from Dr. Feinberg

The OIs that HIV+s get is primarily due to defects in cell-mediated immunity, which is why we measure T cells in our patients on a frequent basis. IGIV-- however it is delivered-- is a collection of proteins called antibodies that are made against different germs by a different part of the immune system (B cells). HIV+s do not have large antibody deficiencies, and giving IVIG or gamma globulin to HIV+ adults is not a reasonable thing to do.

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