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A Thought that can change lives of Many HIV Patients
Jun 7, 2006

Dear Doc,

First of all you guys are doing a great job. I have been doing lot of research on HIV as my hobby and urge to help mankind by contributing even a little.

Can you guide me if following can be tried out on HIV patients,

I have read a lot about mature T4 cells being replicated and grown outside the body..

Also I have read lot about defective co-receptors surface areas of T4 cells which do not allow HIV virus to enter the cell..

Why aren't scientist growing such defective T4 cells outside the body for various blood groups and then injecting them into the HIV infected people..

This way, there will be always fixed amount of uninfected cells T4 cells in circulation.. Treatment is more like insulin injections to Diabetes people... I understand as long as T4 helper cells move around the blood, system should be able to fight back any opportunistic infections caused during AIDS, which these defective Co-receptor T4 cells artificially injected in the body, will provide..

Also since HIV virus itself is not harmful to the body.. Maybe people can live with the fact that they have infected T4 cells in the body as well as uninfected T4 cells (artificially injected) which will do the job of fighting opportunistic infections...

Also over the period of time I feel there will be no more T4 cells in the body which virus can penetrate and duplicate itself because it will have infected all the possible T4 cells it can , and hence will not be able to reproduce, and succumb to its death against the antibodies produced by these defective co receptor based T4 Cells artificially injected....

I eagerly look forward to your reply...

Response from Dr. Daar

Thank you for your very interesting comments. You are correct that there are mutations in the genes that encode for receptors on the surface of CD4 cells. In fact, there are small numbers of individuals who have acquired defective genes from both of their parents and therefore do not have one of these receptors, called CCR5 present on their cells and are relatively resistant to HIV infection. There is considerable interest in repopulating a human immune system with CD4 cells that either have this defect or are created to be resistant to HIV infection in other ways. The challenge is not just creating these cells so that they can be injected into someone but also so that they would be self-sustaining or continue to produce more cells of their kind within the person. Such strategies are still quite a ways off. In addition, it is worth noting that there are also other targets in the body for HIV in which damage is done, such as within the brain causing AIDS-related dementia.


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