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Have you seen dramatic HAART successes, as Duesberg makes compelling case
Dec 12, 2001

Hello, Please tell me if you have personally seen dramatic successes with HAART in your patients. I ask this because Peter Duesberg (that infamous UC prof!) makes a very compelling case based upon statistics. However, I have to wonder about his thesis, as the media portrays HAART as extreemly effective, almost a cure. So, I would like to know if any of you have personally seen DRAMATIC improvements in a patient's health after initiating and maintaining HAART? Have these improvements persisited, or were they only transient (want to exclude any possible placebo effect)? If you have, please give a brief description of the changes seen in any 1 individual. If indeed you have seem dramatic improvements, then I must say that "the proof is in the pudding," and obviously Duesbergs hypothesis must be wrong. (or at least, drug use is only an aggravating factor of disease progression) Sometimes statistics can be misleading. Please answer in detail, as I am sure many others are "on the fence" on this subject, and this will help us resolve this dilemma.

ps - keep up the good work, this site is an invaluable resource!

pps - please dont publish the address this came from

Response from Dr. Young

Let me try to answer this one for you.

Firstly, I can categorically say that I have seen many dramatic and long-term successes of HAART therapy among persons who, prior to 1995-6 would have died.

Let me give you one example: I care for a 40-something man who was diagnosed HIV positive about 3 years ago, when he presented with Cryptococcal meningitis and PML. These are two diseases that prior to HAART, typically resulted in death within 6 months. He had lost about 45 pounds of weight, his initial CD4 count was less than ten. He had been too sick to work for weeks.

This person started on combination therapy shortly after his diagnosis, with HIV viral load becoming undetectable in about 2 months, CD4 count rise was slow and continual.

Nearly three years later, he has gained back all of his lost weight, returned to work (full time). His viral load remains undetectable, CD4 count is now about 250. I would consider him to be as complete therapeutic success as one could imagine.

There are many cases just like this one among persons with very advanced AIDS who have had dramatic recovery. This is not to imply that it happens every time for every patient, but is the majority of my new cases.

Hope this helps with your dilema. /BY



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