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Ok
Sep 3, 2003

Hi Dr. Thanks for your last reply. how can the virus hide from treatment (laten) if it is enveloped in a protein different from other cells? I am not a scientist but others who are at my college said there is not much virus left at undectable, most left being in tissues, so it is possible to stop it forever through therapeutic vaccinations or identification of tissue with resorvoirs. I believe it was the geneticist Craig Venter who said a vaccine (therpeutic for HIV-1) is likely by 2006. I know Progene and Merck are into Phase I and another is in Thailand, this may be the dubious AIDSVAX however.

Response from Dr. Young

The virus has a protein coat when it is circulating in the blood. Once inside the cell, this coat is discarded (at least until the virus tries to reproduce).

Yes, the majority of the virus is in tissue, not in circulating in blood-- however, the link between this observation and the likelihood of a functional therapeutic vaccine is obscure to me.

It's very important to recognize that a phase I clinical trial is designed simply to see if a compound causes immediate short-term toxicity. It's a long way from this statement to say that a drug has long-term therapeutic efficacy and safety. As many as 2 of 3 compounds that enter phase I trials never make it through to FDA approval. With due respects to Professor Venter, I'm less optimistic that we will see an FDA approved therapeutic vaccine by 2006. I hope that I'm wrong, but I do think of myself as realistic. BY


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