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% vs absolute count and cure questions
Apr 21, 2008

Dear Dr. Young,

Thank you for the work you do here.

quest 1: is % increase as important as increases in absolute numbers? I have been on trizivir for 2 years. my vl is undetectable and my t'cells increase has been modest starting at 499 and most recently 650. my % has increased from 10% to 26%. would you consider this a good resposne to treatment?

regarding the C word I would think an argument can be made that we do have a cure for aids with a few caveats (ie no coinfection, adherence, no major problems with resistence) but we do not have a cure for hiv infection

last question/commment: my high level read on the quest for the cure for infection is that things are actually quite exciting right now. there has been two strikes (haart not being a cure and recent vaccine data), but unlike a baseball game we have as many swings of the bat as needed until the ball is hit out of the park. it seems like there are several approaches being tested with a wide variety of approaches and it is just as probable that a cure is being worked on now (not yet valididated) as one being found 1, 5 or 10 years from now. your thoughts? thanks again for the great job. you bring a lot of comfort to people like me.

best regards

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post and comments.

1) Your numbers show an excellent immunological response to treatment. Your absolute CD4 count is in the normal range and the percentage has nearly tripled. While not yet normal, your CD4 percentage is getting close.

2) I agree that there is a "cure" for AIDS, but not a "cure" for HIV infection. There have been notable recent disappointments on vaccine work of late, but that shouldn't prevent interest in the continued search. There are many novel (yet very early-stage) concepts on eradication and/or prevention, it will likely take at least 5 or more years before we'll know if these strategies will bear fruit.

Until then, let's continue to advocate for access to life saving medications for ALL HIV positive people all around the world.

Thanks for reading. BY



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