New Immune Treatment May Control AIDS

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by jason_els, May 4, 2008.

  1. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    The treatment may prove most useful for people who strongly suspect they have been recently infected. Standard ELISA/EIA tests, the ones most frequently used for preliminary HIV testing, cannot always immediately detect the presence of HIV antibodies in HIV-infected individuals. This is why a more complex and expensive test, the Western Blot, is usually administered (barring any other post-ELISA/EIA potential HIV transmission), three months following a negative ELISA/EIA result.


    There are newer tests, a group called the nucleic acid based tests (NATs), which can conclusively detect seroconversion within 12 days of infection. These tests are much more expensive and complex than the ELISA/EIA/Western Blot series, but may become the standard of testing if OPAL therapy proves successful in humans.
     
  2. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    No replies on this? This saddens me a bit.
     
  3. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Hmmm... just saw this. Interesting to say the least.
    A lot of the new treatments seem to be workable only to those who are newly infected, wereas the people who may have been living with the disease for years may not have as much luck. Every step gets us closer to finding the cure, and one day I hope to see it finally happen.
     
  4. simcha

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    Jason,

    I know I didn't reply because there's always something new on the horizon for HIV and AIDS treatment. It's just that all these new treatments seem about equal in the end. Some help certain people but not others. Some have intollerable side-effects even if they work. Almost all of them are ridiculously expensive in this country so that even if they work, many can't afford the latest and greatest.

    I guess short of a cure, these treatments seem less and less miraculous to those of us who have been dealing with the epidemic either directly or indirectly since the beginning. It's hard not to get jaded. The thing I have pounded into my head is that there is no cure and most likely there won't be a cure for a very long time. We've never been able to rid a body of a virus once it's taken hold. That's why there is no cure to the common cold or flu viruses. Therefore, the best method of treating this for me, who is still HIV-, is to avoid getting infected as best I can. For those who are living with HIV and AIDS perhaps these treatments get their attention more because it may affect them more directly, especially the ones where none of the current treatments are working. And there are plenty of cases where the current treatments don't work.

    It's difficult for me to get excited with every twist and turn in HIV/AIDS treatment short of a vaccine or a cure. I know that these are major advances in our understanding of how viruses work and how to interrupt their life cycles. It's just that practically on the ground it doesn't seem to do much for those who are living with HIV and AIDS unless the current treatments aren't working...
     
  5. PCRNerd

    PCRNerd New Member

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    I am so excited about this summer because I might have gotten a job with the Center for AIDS Research in UNC - Chapel Hill. I am totally stoked about it too. I supposedly will be working with the CCR5-Delta 32 gene mutation, which will be really exciting. This gene codes for a certain protein that goes on the surfaces of cells that HIV targets (lymphocytes). If there is a mutation in this gene, there is no protein on the surface, which means very little probability of HIV getting into a cell and initiating infection. The only problem is they aren't aware of all of the side effects of not having these proteins.... but it will be really fun. :smile:
     
  6. Bbucko

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    All news is good news at first. I'll be cautiously optimistic in seeing if this brings any real benefit to those of us living with HIV/AIDS.

    But I did want to correct a small error in this otherwise excellent post by my pal Jason:
    A Western Blot is used as confirming a positive ELISA test result thirteen weeks post exposure.

    The thirteen week milestone is set by the CDC in Atlanta, which is conservative. Most European countries and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts feel that an eight week post-exposure wait is enough to give a definitive result.

    The important qualifier here is that no test result prior to eight weeks (or thirteen, using the CDC standard) after a possible exposure is definitive. As the ELISA test is capable of giving an occasional false-positive, all positive tests after thirteen weeks from possible exposure are confirmed with a Western Blot.

    Only a combined positive from both an ELISA and a Western Blot qualify as a positive test, and only (to be conservative) thirteen weeks after the possible exposure.

    There is no such thing as a false-negative. Any ELISA which remains negative for HIV antibodies is deemed negative, and no Western Blot id performed.

    There are exceptional cases, which fall into two exclusive camps and which might delay anti-body testing to as much as six months post-exposure:
    1) People who have been on chemotherapy;
    2) Chronic IV drug users who have caused such damage to their immune systems already that the virus would be allowed to roam freely in one's body without encountering any T-Cells.

    For anyone else, an ELISA test thirteen weeks following exposure is enough. Only positive results are confirmed by a Western Blot, as negative means negative, and only a combined positive on ELISA and Western Blot is sufficient to render an HIV-positive diagnosis.
     
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