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CKR5 Heterozygosity

Jul 3, 2006

Dr. Holodniy- I have a question about a lab test that was several years ago. I have been HIV+ for some 25 years, having been positive from when the first tests were available (and likely part of "first wave" of infections in 1980 or 1981).

I have been healthy and only started meds a couple years ago when my labs tanked (CD4 to 185 @ 12% and VL of >2,000,000.

I am presently on Truvada and Kaletra and my last labs indicated a CD4 of 485 @ 15 and a VL of 57. My question is, what exactly is CKR5? My doctor says this was why I was a long term non progressor. Could you explain CKR5 (Ive also seen it expressed as CCR5) thanks for your efforts.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

CCR5 is one of the receptors on the surface (along with CD4) of a CD4 cell that HIV requires to gain entry into the cell and infect it. Some people have been found to have mutations in the gene that codes for this receptor, and these mutations affect and alter the structure of the receptor so HIV doesn't fit as well and infection is not as efficient or depending on the severity of the mutation, infection doesn't happen at all. There are research blood tests that can dtermine whether these mutations are present. In addition, CCR5 inhibitors are also currently in clinical trials.

Is it safe to stop meds?
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