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Catchy Titles Suck!

Jul 29, 2005

Dr. Bob,

Thanks for all of your great work. I have no doubt that you have made the world a better place, which should be of utmost importance to any enlightened person. My question involves HHV-6A, one of the herpes viruses. There is a lot of speculation that HHV-6A works in concert with HIV to produce disease. It is also said that HHV-6A is more destructive than HIV. Others have speculated that those who have an indolent HIV disease progression may not be infected with HHV-6A, or HHV-6 (which seems to be ALMOST ubiquitious). I would think that an easy study to do would be to test the "non-progressors" for HHV-6A and for HHV-6 in order to draw some conclusions. What do you think about the whole HHV-6 thing as it relates to HIV disease? Since HIV seems to be a tricky target (it mutates), wouldn't it make sense to go after one of the cofactors that cause disease rather than to focus on the HIV virus? I know you may disagree with President Bush on many issues, including the war in Iraq, but I saw a TV program on the History Channel on Saddam Hussein and his two sons and it is now clear to me that removing him from power MAY have been the right thing to do, and it takes some balls to do it. Other than that, I lean toward the left on most issues as I grow older and see that government can make a real difference in peoples' lives and that the private sector left to its own devices will enrich those at the top at the expense of the general population. Rock on Dr. Bob.

Response from Dr. Frascino


"Catchy Titles Suck?" Really? Hmmm . . . maybe, but you've got to admit they GIVE GOOD HEAD(ing) for questions.

Here's the scoop on HHV-6. It's a herpes virus that was first detected in the mid 80s. HHV-6B has been linked to common childhood illnesses and some adult febrile illnesses as well. As you mention, there has been some speculation that HHV-6A might be a cofactor for HIV progression, particularly because both HHV-6 and HIV infect the same kind of cells CD4 cells. There have been some reports demonstrating interactions between HIV and HHV-6 in the test tube, but I am not aware that any clinical disease has been documented to be caused by HHV-6A. The cofactor role for HHV-6 remains, at best, speculation only. HHV-6 is very different from HHV-8, another herpes virus documented to cause Kaposi's sarcoma. There are also loads of other herpes viruses out there.

"What do you think about the whole HHV-6 thing as it related to HIV disease?" At this point, I'd say it appears to be nothing more than a red herring. In other words, the co-factor theory smells fishy to me.

Regarding Bush, no one's denying he has balls; it's the brain that seems to be in question. Why just yesterday I received an e-mail from Crawford, Texas putting out an all-points bulletin. Apparently the town idiot is missing.

Dr. Bob

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