Is there any?
Oct 22, 2003
With the intense research into new compounds to supress viral replication, and the enormous success in doing so, it comes as no suprise that all the meds available ignore immunological therapy. Of course, the CD4s rebound and the immune system shows reslilience within an adherent med protocol but this type of treatment does not harness natures own defense.
I am concerned about the lack of news considering agents that can prompt immune response into controlling the virus in question. From what little I know, these agents are not going to appear as treatment options any time within the next decade. I have asked scholars who know more than me about this topic to which they poin to the failure of Remune and the inablity to deliver the agents effectively. Dr. Young do you think in time "pulse therapy" will replace the ARVs? It would seem to make sense-the immune system can hanlde the virus so long as it is not replicating. But it does replicate, if detectable in bloodstream, and it infects the cells that destroy it in the process (but this ONLY happens when it is hidden). I just need you to shed some light here...
Response from Dr. Young
I'm not really sure where your question is going, since "pulse therapy" uses ARVs. The idea of using intermittant therapy is currently under evaluation in a couple of very large, long-term studies (for example, the CPCRA's "SMART" study).
Since the real risk of having HIV complications increases with CD4s less than 200, there are some that advocate getting CD4s well above this value (around 350 or for others, 500), then stopping therapy. Is this a strategy to boost immunity? Maybe. Is this a strategy to decrease drug exposure? Surely. Will it work? Stay tuned. BY
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