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Loreen Willenberg

Life as an Elite Controller

Natural Habitat, or, "Who Said Activism Was Dead?"
September 10, 2008

I spent the first week of August glued to my computer screen, watching many hours of webcasts and reading blogs from the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. As a treatment and research advocate, I, like thousands of other interested parties from all over the world, hoped to learn about the new discoveries that science had to offer in the field of medication, and the clinical trials that produce those discoveries. I was also looking out for any ground-breaking announcements that might occur on the vaccine research front.

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Hour of Destiny
July 14, 2008

There are rare times in life when all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. The launch of this Blog occurs at such a moment for me, and I am grateful to Bonnie Goldman and The Body for inviting me to share it with you.

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BLOG: Life as an Elite Controller

Loreen Willenberg

Loreen Willenberg
Photo credit: Bob Roehr

Loreen Willenberg, a resident of California, has survived HIV infection since 1992. She is part of a tiny group of people with HIV that scientists call "elite controllers." What is an elite controller? It's someone with HIV who has never had a detectable viral load, although they have never taken HIV meds. She also has an astonishingly high CD4 count and has never experienced any adverse health effects from HIV. Loreen considers it her responsibility as an elite controller to help other people with HIV, which is why she's currently participating in three clinical studies in which researchers are trying to understand how people like Loreen actually control the virus. In fact, she's created a new organization for people like her called the Zephyr Foundation.

More About Zephyr (PDF)

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At the XVI International AIDS Conference

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New Forum for HIV Controllers

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