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Advantage to treat
Mar 9, 2003

Dear Prof Young, The advantage of early treatment is to preserve the host immune system ? Thus my question is : to be optimistic, if therapeutic vaccine will be available in the near future (say within 3 years), and with the breathrough in the medicine, the HIV can be erased completely, is there any advantage of starting therapy to wait for that advancement comes and with that vaccine injected ? Would the effectiveness of the vaccine questionable to those who treat later until CD dropped to the particular level ? Tks

Response from Dr. Young

Thank you for your question.

As you know, therapeutic vaccines for HIV are under investigation. Because of the speculative nature of yet-to-be-proven therapies, it's impossible to answer your question with any certainty.

With that said, I'm not confident that a therapeutic vaccine will result in a "cure" of HIV, because infected cells will be very difficult, if not impossible to eradicate. Nevertheless, it is possible, that if the immune system is intact (such as it thought if treatment is initiated very early after infection), that this strategy might result in very low viral loads and result in very slow disease progression.

Based on current data, the benefit would likely be greatest among those with higher CD4 cells.

Stay tuned, these studies are underway--BY



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