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a bet II
May 15, 2006

Hi Doctor Bob ;) I promise to start the fire and open the wine bottle, but I strongly recommend that you start thinking about what you are going to offer me in case I'm positive, I have a really strong hunch over here. Activated lymphocytes means there are lymphocytes which are reproducing more than normal, right? my doctor doesn`t explain anything to me and what I find on net is quite confusing. Is lymphocytosis typical of viral infections?

Thank you for all your help.

Andrea

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Andrea,

I can't believe you are so hung up on activated lymphocytes! This basic immune process is extremely common and not at all limited to HIV. The information you find on the Net related to activated lymphocytes seems quite confusing, because it is indeed confusing to almost everyone except immunologists. Basically T cells bind to a Major-Histo-Compatibility (MHC)/antigen complex on an Antigen Presenting Cell (APC) and then receive co-stimulation from surface proteins. Once activated, the lymphocyte differentiates and performs whatever duties its specific class (cytotoxic, helper, etc.) dictates. See, I told you it was complicated! These are not concepts I would expect a non-immunologist to understand. That you may have some activated lymphocytes on your blood work is completely normal and has nothing to do with HIV disease.

I have absolutely no need to come up with a counter offer for our bet, because your strong hunch has nothing to do with scientific reality.

If your doctor "doesn't explain anything" to you, why don't you find one who will?

See you in October.

Dr. Bob



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