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Aug 26, 1999

i have read that the natural supplemement Echinacea can boost the immune system by up to 30%. Could it be useful for an HIV infected person? Or could such stimulation of the immune system cause more virus replication?

Response from Dr. Dieterich

It is not at all clear what immune stimulation can do, or that Echinacea can actually do it. In general, things that stimulate immunity like IL-2 will increase viral production IF the HIV viral load is detectable. That is why IL-2 is used only when HIV is under control. The same might be true for Echinacea, but there is no actual data on the subject. Douglas T. Dieterich, M.D.


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