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HIV Immunity?

Sep 28, 2001

Hi Doc,

Many thanks for being such a cool guy, and for putting up with everyone. Last night, I saw a program on the Discovery Channel about diseases. A doctor said that he discovered that about 10 (?) of the European population have a sort of immunity to HIV because their T-cell lymphocytes don't have the receptors for the HIV virus to bind to. Is this true? If so, does the virus just eventually dies off in the body (and how long does this takes)? So for Asians and Africans, who generally don't have this mutation, the virus replicates like mad, on a logrithmic scale. That is to say, within four weeks or so, a single virus becomes millions. Correct?

Just trying to make sense of all this. Thanks, doctor.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

There are receptors required for HIV to gain entrance into t cells. It requires at least a couple of these receptors. If one of those receptors has mutated and changed, then HIV can't get in. There is a small percentage of the population that have this genetic mutation.

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