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Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers
Aug 31, 2008

Hi Dr. McGowan. Just wondering if you have heard of hyperbaric oxygen therapy? A friend of mine who is positive just started trying it last week. They tell him that once oxygen enters a cell it benefits the healthy ones, and kills whatever viruses may be lurking including HIV. I'm assuming that if that were the case, everyone would be doing oxygen therapy, but is it beneficial?

Response from Dr. McGowan

Hyperbaric oxygen has been reported to have some benefits in the laboratory against viruses with envelopes, such as HIV. However, I do not know of any studies showing benefits in keeping HIV suppressed through the use of hyperbaric oxygen. The treatments would only have transient beneit since new virus is continually being produced and the treatments would not effect the genetic material of the HIV virus that had inserted itself into the CD4 cells. Just like exchanging blood and blood transfusions, hyperbaric oxygen would not effect the virus which had inserted it's genetic material into the CD4 cells, whhich is the main source of HIV's persistnce in the body.


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