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How do you know if a person is
Jan 17, 2001

I read a question which was posted on 12th January regarding Gene therapy. You mentioned HIV Resistant people. I would be grateful if you could explain what this means. You do a great job here, with thanks. AA

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Resistance to HIV infection needs to be distinguished from resistant virus. There are some people who have been found to be resistant to HIV infection naturally. These people have been found to have mutations in the receptors on their CD4 cells that don't allow HIV virus to get inside the cell and cause infection and produce virus. There are very few people who harbor this genetic change. There are ways where we can "theoretically" create this kind or other kinds of resistance to HIV infection. By inserting genes into stem cells (these are the cells produced in the bone marrow which evolve to become CD4 cells), these genes then are incorporated into the DNA of the cell and produce products which alter the cell environment either preventing HIV from getting in the cell, or if it gets in, not allowing it to replicate.

MH


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