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Dual HIV and HHV-6 infection
Aug 15, 2004

Doctor,

Thank you for all that you do for so many of us on your forum.

I checked through the archives, but could find nothing that explains what HHV-6 is and how dual infection with HIV may impact the course of HIV. I understand that HHV-6 also targets CD4 cells (does that mean faster progression to AIDS?) as well as natural killer cells and can cause really bad symptoms...and that it is a virus that the immune system cannot detect and tackle. Is this all true and - if the immune system cannot detect it - does that mean one doesn't develop antibodies? How would you test for it and is there any treatment that would help? Would HAART kill HHV-6 virus?

I would really appreciate your shedding light on this mysterious virus.

Many thanks.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is among the most widespread of the human herpesviruses. It causes flu-like illnesses with rash in infants and children and cause mono. It can cause diesase in people with immunosuppression like bone marrow or organ transplant patients and in HIV infected people. Placed in the test tube with HIV infected cells, it can turn cells on to start HIV replication. The exact impact in HIV disease is not clear. HIV meds probably would not affect this virus, but drugs used to treat other herpes viruses would have activity. Antibodies to HHV6 are made and are detectable.



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