The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
For World AIDS Day, read about stigma, criminalization and more >>
Ask the Experts About

Choosing Your MedsChoosing Your Meds
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

HIV-specific immune responses

Nov 4, 2002


I keep hearing preserving "HIV-specific immune responses", in the context of early treatment during ARS. I am not clear what that means. Could you please explain it?

Thank you very much.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

Our immune system has a vast capacity to recognize and therefore, fight many different foreign invaders-- typically, this is what allows us to fight off bacterial, fungal and viral infections. Not all of this potential is completely protective, and this is why we do get ill with infections from time to time. Nevertheless, this immune capacity is what usually and eventually leads to control of the infection.

The case for HIV starts off the same-- that is to say that our immune system has the ability to recognize, and to an extent, destroy HIV. This capacity is not sufficient to prevent infection, nor eradicate the infection once established; but does seem to limit the amount of viral replication. This is likely why viral loads are lower during established infection than during acute seroconversion.

The sinister issue with HIV infection is that the virus appears to selectively destroy most of the immune response-- namely, the HIV-specific immunity, shortly after (within a few weeks)initial infection. This is part of the rationale for starting therapy in persons with acute infection; to preserve this part of the immune response. It has been suggested that preservation of HIV-specific immunity might lead to better immune control of the virus, leading to lower baseline (or "set point") viral loads and maybe, slower disease progression. -BY

Is my herbal treatment working?
HIV+ ? - Confusion

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint