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long term non-progressor
Mar 27, 2005

Thank you for your hard work. My doctor believes I may be a long term non-progressor. I am wondering how this could be so when my VL has gone as high as 3500. I have been positive since Feb 2000. My CD stays around 1100 and VL around 2000. My last reading was CD4 1150 VL <400. Do you agree with his assessment?

Thank you again

Response from Dr. Pierone

He or she may be right. People that have viral loads in the 400 to 3500 range off HAART tend to have very slow progression of immune depletion related to HIV. The fact that the CD4 count is over 1000 even though you are 5 years into the course of disease is another feature that suggests you are a long-term non-progressor (LTNP).

Why is it that some people progress so slowly while others developing AIDS within 5 or 10 years? Studies have shown that LTNPs often have a very robust HIV specific immune response. Some are infected with strains of HIV that are partially defective and have relatively low ability to infect immune cells. Another factor is the degree of overall immune activation, the lower the better. There is intense research interest in therapeutic vaccines in order to augment the natural immune response against HIV allow everyone already infected to convert to LTNP status.

Your numbers are great and we will look for an update in 2010. Thanks for posting.



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