Loreen Willenberg

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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Categories Covered:HIV/AIDS Basics, HIV Advocates in the Spotlight, Personal Stories from the HIV Community, Mental Health, HIV in Film, TV, and Media, HIV Drugs In Development

Latest by Loreen Willenberg

Memories of Bonnie G.: A Blog Entry by Loreen Willenberg

"We have lost one of our champions, at a time when more of them are needed, not less," writes Loreen Willenberg. In this entry, Loreen shares how she met Bonnie Goldman, our former editorial director who passed away two weeks ago, and how that meetin...

By Loreen Willenberg

Radio Hope: A Blog Entry by Loreen Willenberg

HIV controller Loreen Willenberg recently took to the airwaves to share her story and talk with psychologist Howard Gluss, Ph.D., about long-term nonprogressors like her, who keep HIV at bay without the use of HIV meds.

By Loreen Willenberg

On-the-Air: My First Radio Interview -- "Have You Heard of HIV Long-Term Nonprogressor?": A Blog Entry by Loreen Willenberg

Listen to Audio (58 min.)Download AudioPlease note: These files can be quite large. Allow some time for them to download.

In my quest to maintain the HIV Controller and Long-Term Nonprogressor topic in the public view, I gratefully accepted an invit...

By Loreen Willenberg

Marvels, Milestones and Mom: The Ups and Downs in a Year of Functional-HIV-Cure Research -- A Blog Entry by Loreen Willenberg

Long-term HIV "elite controller" Loreen Willenberg reviews the year in research around HIV controllers and therapeutic vaccine development. She also recaps the Zephyr Foundation's recent contributions to building the "controller community" -- that is...

By Loreen Willenberg

Out of the Mouths of Babes: The Therapeutic Vaccine Question: A Blog Entry by Loreen Willenberg

Therapeutic: adj. 1. Having healing qualities; curative. 2. Pertaining to therapeutics. Also therapeutical. Abbr. therap. [

Preventive: adj. Intended or serving to ward off harm, disease, etc.: preventive medicine. -n. That which prevents or hinde...

By Loreen Willenberg

HIV Controllers Speak: Our Link to a "Functional Cure" for HIV: A Blog Entry by Loreen Willenberg

Sacramento, Calif.

Not all HIV-positive people are alike in their ability to control HIV. An estimated 1 in 300 HIV-infected persons around the world have a mysterious ability to control their HIV. Their viral loads and CD4 T-cell counts remain in t...

By Loreen Willenberg

Natural Habitat, or, "Who Said Activism Was Dead?" A Blog Entry by Loreen Willenberg

Sacramento, California

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 thousand...

By Loreen Willenberg