Superinfection as a cure
Apr 20, 2009
Gus Cairns, in a April 6th article in AIDS MAP NEWS, discussed research where it was discovered that a second, more powerful strain of HIV virus could cause superinfection, essentially overpowering the original virus and replacing it with a new virus that was drug resistant. This is of course important news to remind folk that unprotected sex can be risky at any stage of infection, even for those who are undetectable. The second case of superinfection he mentions, however, involves a man who was reinfected with a virus with no drug resistant mutations, replacing his original virus that had two such mutations.Therefore even though he had a spike in his viral load, he basically replaced his drug resistance HIV with a type that had no resistance. I may be naive, but wouldn't that be better for him in the long run? Taking this idea of superinfection a bit further, could there be developed a kind of replacement therapy, where the HIV virus is intentionally and gradually replaced with more benign forms of HIV (if there is such a thing), that overpower the original virus, eventually leaving the body with a kind of HIV that is either very responsive to treatment or remains dormant without the need for medication? Hmm, perhaps this theory is a bit too unrealistic or farfetched, but it did occur to me and I would like to hear your response. Thanks for reading and commenting. And many, many thanks for your continuous, sacrificial work on our problems! You are greatly loved!!!
Response from Dr. Frascino
Superinfection as a cure? Nope! Bad idea! Unfortunately there is no such thing as benign HIV.
Also, just because a viral strain may not have resistance mutations (that we know of) doesn't mean it's not a killer! In fact it could be a more "fit" virus with higher replication capacity than a viral strain with several resistance mutations!
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