Innate Immunity for HIV?? (DELTA 32 MUTATION, 2011)


Hi Doctor. (Love your Humor) I was wondering if someone can be immune from getting HIV/AIDS. I was diagnosed back in Jan 2010 with a cd4 Count of84 also diagnosed with Hiv Encehalopothy with extensive gliosis in my brain. I have been with my negative partner for 30 years. We have always had unrotected sex. I am a top and he is the bottom. I have come in him and shot in his mouth and he swallowed a numerous times. ( He said that he was a "slut" before and after we first met)LOL After testing positive he took one of those quick tests and came back negative. We have been celebate since Jan 2010 and just kissed and cuddled. But we had unrotected sex in December 2009. So we got another blood draw this past December and he also came back negative. I got infected during a break we had from each other thru a cutie that I did not know at the time was a male escort until the next morning (but I did not pay cash except for catching Hiv. And had sex with him thru out the week. After he shot in me, I noticed blood after using the bathroom.(First time being a bottom except with my partner)This was back in 1994. After getting back together With my partner after a couple of months(True Love)we resumed having unprotected great sex with me being the top and coming in him. He is has a blood type of AB and I have an O. Is there such a thing as someone being immune to this. I am part of a research group at an Army Hospital with me being a VET and he wanted to see if he could help out. I tried in vain to find answers on the iternet but am unable to find any. Please help if you can. Aloha from Hawaii


Hi Hawaii Guy,

There is a genetic mutation termed Delta 32 that does confer immunity to the most common type of HIV (CCR5). See below. Alternatively it's also possible your partner is just incredibly lucky, in which case I'd suggest you guys head to Las Vegas and have him place some high-stakes bets!

Dr. Bob

Delta 32 testing is it available for partners of Poz? (DELTA 32 MUTATION, 2010) Jan 1, 2010

Dear Doctor I am in a bind. My partner of 10 years has tested poz recently. He actually fell very ill and had almost no T-cells. I have been exposed many times over not only as it turns out by him but also at work trough needle sticks. I work as a dentist for an HIV clinic. I love my work and I love my partner. We stopped using condoms as I developed an allergy to latex and the vinyl condoms were... well short of loving a glad bag. We practice as safe a sex as we can still I would like to be tested for Delta 32 and have information on his strain for peace of mind and knowledge on what may be the correct regimens should we have an "accident". My partner worked in genetics as a PhD and neither of us seem to find a private laboratory that will help us profile our genomes. Any recommendations. My partner was on Sustiva... that was an emotional roller coaster that almost cost us or relationship can this profile help us find a medication better sited for him?

	Response from Dr. Frascino


Testing for the delta 32 mutation remains primarily a research tool at present. (See below for a discussion of the delta 32 mutation.)

As for your partner's "strain," what is really important is his drug resistance profile. His HIV specialist may have run resistance tests (genotype and/or phenotype) prior to starting antiretroviral therapy. It's worth noting that you need an HIV plasma viral load of at least 500-1,000 to get a resistance test.

Latex allergy can be a significant problem; however, the polyurethane condoms are usually very well tolerated in latex-allergic folks. You might also try the new polyisoprene condoms (Durex).

I'm also concerned about your needle sticks at work. These should be extremely rare. Universal precautions and using the latest tools and technology should significantly decrease occupational needle sticks.

Finally, you and your partner should read through the chapter in the archives of this forum devoted to magnetic couples.

Good luck to you both.

Dr. Bob

To med or not to med (DELTA 32 MUTATION) (WHEN TO START TREATMENT, 2009) Nov 29, 2009

Dr. Frascino

I was diagnosed 5 years ago as being HIV positive, which was kind of a shock considering I had done a study in San Francisco that said I lacked some gene that allowed the virus to attach. Anyway here I am 5 years later and my viral load has never gone up past 500 and is currently 126 and my T-Cells have never been under 700 and is currently 845. When I asked my doctor what he thought, he said that I was lucky, but then suggested I started medication anyway just to help out. If my body is fighting off the virus on its own, why would I want to start a lifelong commitment to taking meds? Am I fooling myself in thinking my body has it handled? and could it have to do with the test I took in SF that said I lacked some protein? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank You


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello J,

Regarding the gene mutation, I would assume it was the delta 32 mutation, which confers resistance to some, but not all, strains of HIV ("CCR5" virus can't get in, but "CXCR4" can). This is one of the worries about folks misinterpreting what this genetic mutation actually means regarding the potential for acquiring HIV. (See below.)

As for whether to begin treatment, it's an individual decision. Some recent information suggests starting early to preserve immune function and block damaging immune activation. (See below.) However, these potential benefits must be weighed against the risk of short- and long-term side effects and toxicities as well as the inconvenience and cost of early intervention with combination antiretroviral treatment. I would suggest you discuss this in detail with your HIV specialist. And, if you remain uncertain, get a second opinion from another HIV specialist in your area.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Had unprotected sex with a guy who has ccr5 delta 32 (DELTA 32) Oct 13, 2008

Last night I had unprotected sex with a guy who claims that he has ccr5 delta 32 and got a negative HIV test recently. I'm worried about it as his ex is positive. My question is do people who have ccr5 delta32 carry HIV? Is the risk of me getting HIV low? Shall I take pep or go to get a test? Thanks a lot!!

Response from Dr. Frascino


Even if a guy strapped a lie detector on his Mr. Happy, I wouldn't believe claims that unsafe sex is not risky, because your partner states he's "delta 32." I'll reprint below some information from the archives pertaining to delta 32.

Your HIV-acquisition risk should be considered the same as that of anyone else who elected to have unprotected sex. PEP would only be recommended if your partner was confirmed to be HIV positive (or strongly suspected of being HIV positive) and if you had a significant exposure. I can't tell from your question what type of "unprotected sex" you had with Delta-Dude, but I doubt PEP would be warranted. Testing, however, at the three-month mark is warranted. I urge you to reconsider your decision to place yourself at risk for STDs, including HIV, by barebacking.

Be safe. Be well.

Dr. Bob

No HIV in 8 years (DELTA 32) Nov 1, 2007

To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for your time in reading this. I am writing to ask a question. A good friend of mine is a homosexual male. I have personal knowledge that my friend has had receptive anal sex with over 1,500 men over the past 8 years. My friend frequents hot spots in local parks and public restrooms, and finds sexual partners on the internet. According to my friend (and I find this information credible), over 90% of his sexual encounters were unprotected and most of these men have ejaculated into his rectum. Some of the men who have ejaculated in my friends rectum are HIV positive.

Notwithstanding the fact that my friend has had unprotected sex with this many men, a recent HIV test was negative.

Having had unprotected anal sex this many times and with some known HIV-positive men, why hasnt my friend become HIV positive? Is there anyone, perhaps a research institute, who would be interested in a blood sample of my friend for further analysis? It seems like somebody would be collecting this type of data.

Thank you so much in advance for your response,

Concerned with finding a cure as fast as possible

Response from Dr. Frascino


Thanks for your post and interest in helping to find a cure as fast as possible.

If your story about your friend is indeed accurate, he is one lucky boy. He's also a boy with significant psychological issues who is courting disaster with his self-destructive and irresponsible behavior. I'm quite amazed he found 1,350 guys (90% of 1,500) willing to have unprotected anal sex with him. Is he a closeted Republican Congressman or clueless rightwing religious zealot perchance? Oh, never mind. Is it possible he could have avoided infection, despite his activities at the hot spots? Yes, it is. Not every HIV exposure leads to HIV infection. Thankfully! Your friend might even have some genetic predisposition against HIV infection. (See below.) The bottom line, however, is that he's putting his bottom at risk with every unprotected poke he gets and sooner or later he's going to lose the STD/HIV sexual Russian roulette game big time. My advice is that you try to convince your good friend he needs help. We don't need his blood, but he definitely needs counseling and a change in behavior ASAP.

Dr. Bob

HIV+ Resistant Sep 12, 2007

Dear Bob,

Six month after he left me, My boyfriend send me a letter to tell me he had been tested positive and had developped aids. We had been together for two and a half years. We had unprotected sex many times, almost daly. He thinks he was infected throughout our relationship. I received loads from him in my mouth as much as in my ass. I got tested when I received his letter and was diagnosed negative. I got tested every year since then and still negative. It has been five years now and I have had other relationship with many partners. Is it possible that I am immune against the virus. That my body is protected against it. Is there a test we can take to see if our immune system can fight the virus on its own. If so where can I take such a test. I live near Montreal in Quebec, Canada. Thanks for your time. Cheers, Eric

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Eric,

Are you immune to HIV? No, most likely not. What you are is damn lucky! I urge you not to push your luck by assuming you are immune. That's playing sexual Russian roulette and ultimately you will lose.

I will reprint below some information from the archives concerning the Delta 32 mutation. This is an evolving story. Even with the mutation you would not be immune to all types of HIV.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

delta 32 Mar 17, 2007

Dr. Bob ...

I think I may have heard everything now! So, I'm on Craigslist just 'poking' around and I see this guy who wants to have sex - but, he only does it bb. Now, here is where it gets wacky! He's HIV Negative and says, "I just got tested in January, but, I just do that so guys will know the right answer. I don't worry about HIV ... I'm delta 32."

What does that mean? I went to a link, that he provided, and it talked about smallpox, and the plague.

What gives? Is this guy a bit crazy or is he really "safe?"

Can you shed some light, my friend?? :)

Thanks!! Oh and P.S., I thought I found Prince Charming ... But, it wasn't him! I'm still looking! You have any cute friends in Orange County?


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey QS,

So you were poking around Craigslist looking for some poking?

Delta 32 is a bit complex to explain, but I'll give it a shot. First, some background. HIV can only infect certain cells that have specific "receptors" on their surface that allow HIV to enter. HIV attaches to CD4 receptors. However, CD4 alone isn't enough for viral entry. Another protein called CCR5 is also needed. CCR5 is called a co-receptor. Some folks have a mutation in the CCR5 gene called CCR5-delta 32 mutation. This mutation changes the configuration of the CCR5 protein such that HIV cannot bind to it. Genes, of course, are inherited. If you inherit a CCR5-delta 32 gene mutation from both parents, your chances of becoming HIV infected are dramatically reduced. This occurs in about 1-3% of Caucasians. If you inherit one CCR5-delta 32 mutation (from just one parent), it will confer some protection against acquiring HIV and may make HIV disease less severe if you do become infected. Current estimates are that 10-25% of Caucasians may have a single CCR5-delta 32 mutation.

So should Craigslist Delta-32 Boy "not worry" about HIV? Absofrickinlutely NOT! It is downright dangerous to assume you are safe if you have the CCR5-delta 32 mutation. It is not a guarantee of HIV immunity. HIV is much too smart for that. Some strains of HIV use proteins other than CCR5 as co-receptors to enter CD4 cells.

As for the bubonic plague (Black Death) and smallpox link, it appears that the CCR5-delta 32 mutation may have arisen to protect folks in Europe from these illnesses. The mutation affords protection from these ailments and could have arisen via an evolutionary process. (Yes, right-wing religious wing-nuts, evolution does indeed exist!)

So if you happen to hook up with Delta-32 Boy, you might want to give him a science lesson along with his poke.

Finally, hotties in Orange County? Sure, I know some Prince Charmings in that zip code, but unfortunately none are currently single. So I guess you'll just have to continue kissing those toads until your prince arrives.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob