|? for Dr. Henry about vaccine
May 15, 2002
On May 10, a reader asked you a question about a vaccine being developed at Emory U. to "control" the virus of people already infected. You indicated that it was still theoretical in nature. I read the same article by Reuters on May 8 (the researcher was Dr. Harriet Robinson of the Yerkes Primate Center at Emory), and it indicated that she had developed a vaccine that had controlled the virus in monkeys for the last two years - and would be used in human trials later on this year. True, it didn't mention how it would react to people who already suffered side effects, but it did say that it had kept the virus in the monkeys to almost undetectable levels for the last two years. AT least that's a glimmer of hope in a research area where the only thing that seems to be happening with the drug companies is to develop the same medications in easier dosing (once a day instead of 3 times a day, etc.). That's no big deal to people who are consistent with taking medications no matter what the dosage. The big problems are the toxic side affects (gastro, liver, lipodystrophy, etc.) which none of them seem to be addressing........
Response from Dr. Henry
Thank you for the additional information. A number of companies are working are potential therapeutic vaccines (including Merck). I am anxious to try them out in the setting of research studies but am wary of predicting long-term benefit/safety until the studies are completed. KH
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