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Does DHEA supplementation fight HIV?
Dec 19, 1997

Dear Doctors, I just stumbled across an article on the web that claims that DHEA has antiviral activity against HIV. The article citation is:

Yang JY, Schwartz A, Henderson EE. Inhibition of 3'azido- 3'deoxythymidine-resistant HIV-1 infection by dehydroepiandrosterone in vitro. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1994 Jun 30;201(3):1424-1432

Since it was published in 1994 I figured it was old news and has either been confirmed or refuted by now. Have you heard anything about this? Do you think there is any benefit to taking DHEA supplements for the treatment of HIV?

Response from Dr. Gallant

To my knowledge, the only evidence for an anti-HIV effect of DHEA is this sort of in vitro ("test tube") evidence, which is a far cry from a demonstration that it has such an effect in real live people. As you point out, this article was published in 1994 (meaning the data were probably presented in 1993). If it had turned out that DHEA had a clincally relevant effect on HIV in people, we would probably know that by now.

JG



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