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What does the future hold?
Mar 15, 2002

As a recently diagnosed, HIV positive person, I have been avidly researching everything that I can about the subject. I have a very low viral load at last count (1100) and a relatively good t-cells (avg 600). Recently I read that Merck has been having good preliminary results with a possible vaccine. How does this sound to you? What more can you tell me about it from a healthcare professional's point of view? Strictly in your own opinion, do you think this sounds hopeful? Do you think we are on the verge of something? I keep sending the message to the Universe that it is. By the way, I admire you very much for your compassionate and articulate way you help the many people who turn to you for advise and direction. Thanks in advance for your response and keep up the good work! You are doing great!

Response from Dr. Young

Thank you for your question and kind comments.

Therapeutic vaccines hold much potential, but as of yet remain highly experiemental. It still might be several years before we even know if the candidate compounds under investigation will be of significant benefit to persons with chronic infection. We are on the verge of having simpler, lower toxicity HIV treatments, certainly looking at the real probability of long-term disease free survival-- which combinations of medications we use, I am sure, will continue to evolve in the years and decades to come. BY



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