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Ending the Aids epidemic
Nov 28, 2011

Hi Mr. Vergel, I have seen several articles saying that we have the tools to end the aids epidemic. I don't understand. I have not seen anything indicating that a cure is going to be happening soon although I know that the are working on it. I was wondering if you knew what they were talking about. Also, in your opinion is saliva testing an accurate way to measure hormones? I have read conflicting reports on this and I am confused. Thank you, Kay

Response from Mr. Vergel

I am going to get in trouble for this answer.

I think the HIV world tends to use catchy slogans to market programs around the country. To say that we are going to end the AIDS epidemic with prevention messages is naive. In fact, nothing seems to work in stopping the spread.

Yes, there is a case of a cured patient. But his cure was extremely risky and expensive, but opened a new door to create a possibility for a cure for all in the future.

Now, about saliva tests for hormones. This is an excerpt from my book

A Note about Saliva Testing (from Aetna Insurance Company)

Salivary tests of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, melatonin, cortisol and DHEA have become available to consumers over the Internet. Some of these websites include a questionnaire to allow consumers to determine whether they need saliva testing, and a form that allows consumers to order these tests online. The results of these tests are purportedly used to determine the need prescriptions of DHEA, vitamins, herbs, phytoestrogens, and other anti-aging regimens.

The medical literature on salivary testing correlates salivary levels with serum levels, the gold standard measurement. However, the medical literature fails to demonstrate that salivary tests are appropriate for screening, diagnosing, or monitoring patients with menopause, osteoporosis, or other consequences of aging.

According to a committee opinion by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG, 2005), salivary hormone level testing used by proponents to 'tailor' hormone therapy isn't meaningful because salivary hormone levels vary within each woman depending on her diet, the time of day, the specific hormone being tested, and other variables.

An assessment by the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (2006) concluded: "Currently, there is insufficient evidence in the published scientific literature to permit conclusions concerning the use of salivary hormone testing for the diagnosis, treatment or monitoring of menopause and aging."

The North American Menopause Society (2005) has concluded: "Salivary testing is not considered to be a reliable measure of testosterone levels."

Flyckt and colleagues (2009) compared salivary versus serum measurements of total testosterone (TT), bioavailable testosterone (BT; consisting of free testosterone [FT] and albumin-bound testosterone), and FT from samples collected simultaneously in women who were either receiving transdermal testosterone patch supplementation (300 micrograms/d) or a placebo patch. Naturally and surgically post-menopausal women receiving concomitant hormone therapy were recruited to participate in a 24- to 52-week phase III trial of a 300 micrograms/day transdermal testosterone patch for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Initial analysis demonstrated high correlations between TT, BT, and FT levels (r = 0.776 to 0.855). However, there was no correlation with salivary testosterone levels for any of the serum testosterone subtypes (r = 0.170 to 0.261). After log transformation, salivary testosterone correlated modestly with BT (r = 0.436, p < 0.001), FT (r = 0.452, p < 0.001), and TT (r = 0.438, p < 0.001). The authors concluded that although salivary testing of testosterone concentrations is an appealing alternative because it is inexpensive and non-invasive, these findings do not support the routine use of salivary testosterone levels in post-menopausal women.

Grschl (2008) provided an overview of the current applications of salivary hormone analysis. The author noted that although saliva has not yet become a mainstream sample source for hormone analysis, it has proven to be reliable and, in some cases, even superior to other body fluids. Nevertheless, much effort will be needed for this approach to receive acceptance over the long-term, especially by clinicians. Such effort entails the development of specific and standardized analytical tools, the establishment of defined reference intervals, and implementation of round-robin trials. One major obstacle is the lack of compliance sometimes observed in outpatient saliva donors. Moreover, the author stated that there is a need for standardization of both collection and analysis methods in order to attain better comparability and evaluation of published salivary hormone data.


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