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Author Topic: To cure or not to cure...  (Read 4648 times)

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Offline aupointillimite

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To cure or not to cure...
« on: March 07, 2007, 04:48:14 PM »
This issue came up in an earlier thread... but only for a bit.

It piqued my curiousity...

Do you all think there will be a cure for HIV infection in the next few decades?

Please note I said "think" not "hope." 

The two are quite different.

Personally, I see myself dying with this virus, be it in five years or fifty.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline ACinKC

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2007, 04:56:55 PM »
My biggest fear is they will find a way to "prevent" it.  And thus will let the disease "die out".  Which doesn't bode well for those of us that have it. 
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2007, 05:02:19 PM »
My biggest fear is they will find a way to "prevent" it.  And thus will let the disease "die out".  Which doesn't bode well for those of us that have it. 

That's what really scares me about a vaccine, too.

I mean, it would be a brilliant triumph of medical science... but I don't for a moment doubt they'd let us wither and die... so to speak.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline racingmind

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2007, 05:08:47 PM »
I look at it this way....

if they find a vaccine or way to prevent it (medically...I'm not talking condoms or abstinence), at the VERY least it should help alleviate the stigma because it would remove fear from the equation.

Honestly....I'm thinking it will be curable someday.  Somebody is bound to stumble across something sooner or later...look how much has changed in the past 10 years or so....
Tested Negative: 5/06
Tested Positive: 9/06 
9/06: CD4: 442 (28%) VL: +100,000
10/06: CD4: 323 (25%) VL: 243,440
11/06: CD4: 405 (28%) VL: 124,324
12/06: CD4: 450 (29%) VL: 114,600
1/07: CD4: 440 (27%) VL: 75,286
3/07: CD4: 459 (30%) VL: 44,860
5/07: CD4: 353 (24%) VL: 50,852
7/07: CD4: 437 (29%) VL: 39,475
9/07: CD4: 237 (32%) VL: 372,774
10/07: CD4: 324 (27%) VL: 115,454 
Started Atripla: 10/07
11/07: CD4: 524 (?%) VL: Undetectable!
2/08: CD4: 653 (35%) VL: undetectable
5/08: CD4: 822 (40%) VL: undetectable
8/08: CD4: 626 (35%) VL: undetectable
12/08: CD4: 619 (36%) VL: undetectable
3/09: CD4: 802 (38%) VL: undetectable
7/09: CD4: 1027 (43%) VL: not tested
10/09: CD4: 1045 (43%) VL: undetectable

Offline Ihavehope

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2007, 05:09:50 PM »
I spent the first month after being diagnosed researching about possible future cures about 12 hours each day and came to the conclusion that we will not see a cure for at least another 10 years, and that is based on the optimistic researchers have predicted. My gut instinct says most likely it will not be in our lifetime, we do however have a better chance of finding an HIV treatment that is less tpxic and MAYBE treatment that will once and for all defeat the mutation of HIV and the need to take the meds every day of our lives. So far science has not been capable of erradicating any virus from a human being, but then again 20 years ago who would have thought that a marvelous thing named the "internet" would exist and change the world of many of us. I for one can say that I have not considered suicide because of this marvelous website. Things can change very rapidly but even Bill Gates who has donated a large amount of money for HIV Vaccine and is heavily involved with HIV research doesn't believe a cure or vaccine will be seen in the next 10 years. Like AC mentioned in his reply to this thread, I will be very sad if the vaccine that they are currently working to prevent HIV will not benefit us already infected.  
Infected: April 2005
12/6/06 - Diagnosed HIV positive
12/19/06 - CD4 = 240  22% VL = 26,300
1/4/07 - CD4 = 200 16% VL = ?
2/9/07 = Started Kaletra/Truvada
3/13/07 = CD4 = 386 22% VL ?

Offline keyite

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2007, 05:11:05 PM »
No, I don't hold out much hope for a cure (as in ridding the body of the virus). With HIV hiding out in all kinds of places within the body and sometimes being dormant within cells for decades I just don't see how it would be possible. I expect to die with (but not necessarily because of) HIV.

Slightly more hope for a vaccine for those not yet infected, but I think it lies many years out in the future and very possibly not in my lifetime.

More hope still for a therapeutic vaccine, i.e. helping the immune system to suppress, but not eliminate, the virus. Ideally, in such a way that it could replace HAART, but realistically probably in conjunction with HAART.

Quite optimistic about improved HAART - I'm fairly confident it will continue to improve, in terms of side effects, toxicity and how often you need to take it (but then I went to a presentation by a professor in HIV the other day and he argued there is less and less incentive for big pharma to invest the huge sums it takes to develop new meds, for the simple reason existing drugs are already 'pretty good' and market prices have been driven down over the last few years, making it very difficult for a new and more expensive drug to get established, especially if it only offers fairly 'marginal' improvements)...

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2007, 05:13:09 PM »
Matty the Damned dreads the day a cure is found. That would mean he'd lose his generous welfare arrangements and have to go back to fulltime employment.

Such a scenario is not to his taste.

MtD

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2007, 05:14:32 PM »

Honestly....I'm thinking it will be curable someday.  Somebody is bound to stumble across something sooner or later...look how much has changed in the past 10 years or so....

That's the thing... all they're doing is inhibiting enzymes... it's wonderful and great... but with the exception of Fuzeon, there haven't been any new paradigms in treatment since the unveiling of HAART.  Which, again... just inhibits enzymes.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline mjmel

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2007, 05:28:48 PM »
This issue came up in an earlier thread... but only for a bit.

It piqued my curiosity...

Do you all think there will be a cure for HIV infection in the next few decades?

Please note I said "think" not "hope." 

The two are quite different.

Personally, I see myself dying with this virus, be it in five years or fifty.

Honestly, I think that if you hold on for another fifteen to twenty years you will be happy with what you will have seen. I will define "hold on" as living to have fun but not leading a lifestyle that runs body or mind to exhaustive ends.

By the way, Benj, did you ever get the 3 months supply of Truvada out of "stuck" mode?
xxx,
Mike


Offline aupointillimite

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2007, 05:33:55 PM »

By the way, Benj, did you ever get the 3 months supply of Truvada out of "stuck" mode?
xxx,
Mike

Everybody here helped me out!  It was the height of kindness and awesome!   ;D
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Lis

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2007, 05:37:24 PM »
NO WAY...

if we were cured... why would we buy meds???


i see the organ grinder and the monkey here... sorry... I'm getten tired.....
poz 1986....

Offline Val

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2007, 05:54:19 PM »
I am very critical of human beings in general, but at the same time place high hopes on the generosity of the human soul.  It is my opinion that the battle for Cancer will perhaps save us. 
You see, Cancer is an illness that affects everyone.  And it affects cells as well!  Besides, more and more often we hear in the scientific community that research  for Aids would advance enormously the fight (and perhaps a cure?) against Cancer!
Inch'Alla!

Val
___
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Richard de Chazal
http://www.richarddechazal.com/
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Photography:
The word comes from the Greek words φως phos ("light"), and γραφίς graphis ("stylus", "paintbrush") or γραφή graphê, together meaning "drawing with light" or "representation by means of lines".

Offline David_CA

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2007, 06:01:27 PM »
Isn't there some vaccine in the works that's for those already infected?  I recall it simply being called the 'Salk Vaccine'.  I think it prevents the infection of healthy t-cells similarly to the way all vaccines do.  It seems that it had to be re-administered every few months.  I don't know what became of it; hell, it probably just didn't work.

I think that we'll find drugs that are so much easier on our systems than our current meds.  I feel it'll be like the psychoactive drugs of the '50's through the '70's compared to what's available now.  There'll probably be a cure, at some point, but that'll be a long way away and will have it's own consequences.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline jack

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  • fomerly the loser known as Jake
Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2007, 06:26:43 PM »
No one is trying to kill us. It is amazing how fast they have brought many of these drugs to market. If someone can find a cure,they will, but it will take several years of trials, so if you are over 50,why worry about it.
I believe I will live a normal life span,maybe longer than I would have had I not got hiv. I would probably still be drinking,smoking,and screwing every thing that moved if I hadn't of got this virus. I might be dead by now,many of my old friends are dead and not from aids.
On the other hand it sure would be nice to go through days at a time with out your bowells betraying you,and I would love to get rid of this hump,swollen parotids,and fat deposits.
I also dont fear a vaccine,that is silly. No is letting anyone die. Where do you guys think this shit up at? It is so depressing,you must be miserable.
Plan your life as if you are gonna live to 80, I know I am, so get busy making money and living your life.

Offline blondbeauty

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2007, 07:29:52 PM »
I don't think it is possible to take the virus` ARN from inside our cells. The virus is integrated in the genetic material of many of our cells and forms part of it just as many other virus do. There is nothing tragic in that.
I think we will see medications capable of stopping viral replication in a 100% of infected patients and resistance will become a thing of the past. These meds might be able to achieve the same results with other viral infections that are a serious problem today. I hope they have reasonable prices.
Maybe a therapeutic vaccine will be able to teach our body to stop the virus in some cases an for certain patients. But I personally prefer a daily resistance proof medication (I would forget to take weekly or monthly medications but I never forget to shave, brush my teeth, take a shower or eat daily.)
And in oral form, please. I hate needles.
The only member in these forums approved by WINBA: World International Nail and Beauty Association.
Epstein Barr +; CMV +; Toxoplasmosis +; HIV-1 +.
Counts when starting treatment:
V.L.:80.200 copies. CD4: 25%=503
Started Sustiva-Truvada 14/August/2006
Last V.L.count (Oct 2013): Undetectable
Last CD4 count (OCT 2013): 52%= 933

Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2007, 07:34:51 PM »
If there is a will, then there will be a way.  I hope a cure will be found soon.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

“Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything o

Offline koi1

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2007, 08:32:26 PM »
Well,

Realistically, have they ever cured anything viral? I mean a vaccine is before infection. So maybe something for those not yet infected, like the HPV vaccine, might be more realistic.

Though, there is always hope, I think that we are stuck with lifelong therapy, like those with Herpes who depend on meds to reduce or limit outbreaks.

However this might not be such a bad thing if they could just refine it to less and less toxic meds.

rob

 
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline Optimistic

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2007, 09:25:33 PM »
YES, I think there will be a cure SOON.

Justin
12/06 (Atripla): cd4 - 260; cd% - 33%; vl - 169
1/07 (Atripla): cd4 - 267; cd% - 38.1%; vl - 132
4/07 (Atripla): cd4 - 373; cd% - 33.9%; vl - <50
7/07 (Atripla); cd4 - 287; cd% - 35.8%; vl - <50
9/07 (Atripla); cd4 - 356; cd% - 39.5%; vl - <50
12/07 (Atripla); cd4 - 517

Offline Basquo

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2007, 09:45:07 PM »
Wow!  Great points from everyone, especially ihavehope, blondbeauty and koi1.  My first ID doc told me he doesn't foresee an actual cure, and I haven't discussed it with my current one.  I do think that the secret may lie within the DNA of LTNPs, which I may be, but we won't know for another couple of years if I am truly one of those. There's something in in Zephyr, and ChefPaul, and maybe me, that is controlling this infection, and I hope someone ponies up some more money to figure out what the hell it is.

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2007, 09:49:24 PM »
Wow!  Great points from everyone, especially ihavehope, blondbeauty and koi1.  My first ID doc told me he doesn't foresee an actual cure, and I haven't discussed it with my current one.  I do think that the secret may lie within the DNA of LTNPs, which I may be, but we won't know for another couple of years if I am truly one of those. There's something in in Zephyr, and ChefPaul, and maybe me, that is controlling this infection, and I hope someone ponies up some more money to figure out what the hell it is.

I've got 50 cents on me.

Now give me your immune system!
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline koi1

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2007, 09:52:14 PM »
Basquo, I hope you are an LTNP. My hopes are with you. And yes you may be right
that advances may be found in people like you. I think that they got the ccr5 mechanism from studying LTNPs. So yes, yes, yes. Help us out if you are one.

rob
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline koi1

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2007, 09:57:06 PM »
Aupoint,

MMMMMMMMMMMM I can just see it, buying immune systems on the black market.  The ones from Scandinavia would fetch the top dollar non?

rob
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2007, 10:06:50 PM »
Aupoint,

MMMMMMMMMMMM I can just see it, buying immune systems on the black market.  The ones from Scandinavia would fetch the top dollar non?

rob

Dude... are you thinking what I'm thinking?

We could go to Sweden and become like male hookers... but we wouldn't be real hookers... we'd be like that urban legend where the guy wakes up in a bathtub of ice with his kidney missing.  Only, they'd be waking up with their immune systems missing.

Oh God, we'd become rich!

Rich, I tell you!  Rich!
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline koi1

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2007, 10:46:00 PM »
"I've got the brains, you've got the looks, let's make lots of money."

Oh wait are you the Mary and I'm the Rhoda?

rob
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline koi1

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2007, 10:47:40 PM »
I hope this is not too much of intergenerational humor for you. But wait, you are a youngen trapped in an older body.

rob
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2007, 10:49:32 PM »
I hope this is not too much of intergenerational humor for you. But wait, you are a youngen trapped in an older body.

rob

You're Mary.  You're sweet and stuff.   :D

I'm Rhoda.  I'm abrasive and shrill-voiced.  While not from New York, my fam lives there, so it'll work out.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline HIVworker

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  • HIV researcher
Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2007, 11:40:20 PM »
Lets be realistic here. When we speak of virus infections and cures, there is little to be done for acute infecting viruses such as influenza as when you develop symptoms it often is too late to treat. Of all the viral infections around it is the chronic ones that pose the most significant chances of a cure.

There are chronic infections that have been cured. Hepatitis C comes to mind. About 50-80% of patients can be cured with Inferferon/ribavirin therapy. Sure it is harsh, but it can be cured. Cured for that virus really means a sustained virological response ie the virus doesn't come back again - much like cancer.

So what chances for HIV? There are a few very large obstacles to eradication of HIV, a few have been mentioned here. The truth is that other than latency we don't really know where the virus is going on HAART. It is still replicating and although current therapy is very efficient at stopping viral replication none of them - if you add 2,3 or 4 drugs - can stop the virus from replicating. They can reduce it by 99.999% but as in cancer this isn't enough to eradicate the virus as it hides; both from therapy and within cells. What makes it hard is that given this low level of HIV replication it can come up with resistance - although HAART drastically slows this process in my opinion. The effort required to block a virus from replicating 90% of the time to 99% is high. Even higher to inhibit it 99.9% of the time, more still to stop replication 99.99% of the time. I think it is clear that the extra few percent is not going to be achieved by adding more therapies that merely try to inhibit HIV replication. Not to say that new therapies that prevent replication in a background of resistance aren't welcome; just they are less likely to push the extra 0.001% that is required.

Why do HAART drugs mainly work on enzymes of HIV? We have RT, Protease and Integrase drugs and these are the best characterized enzymes HIV has. The problem is that small molecules are poor at inhibiting protein interactions but good at putting plugs in the active sites of enzymes. If HIV has an enzyme, there is a drug to stop it. Fuzeon and to a lesser extent the CCR5 inhibitor are outliers. If it were possible to inhibit capsid interactions, matrix or other structural components, there would be drugs against them. Not that it is impossible, just that it is so hard that some feel it isn't feasible to get drugs to do it. Why rely on small molecules? Because large ones don't get into cells or viruses very well and if they don't get in, they can't work. Fuzeon doesn't need to work in the cell but the outside of the virus. In addition, the energy of protein binding is high - thought to be too high for a small molecule to inhibit that process.

So what is the future for HIV? Where will the cure come from? Partly by getting rid of the latent pool, partly by finding something in our cells that HIV requires for replication - another enzyme that can be inhibited maybe. Compared to the virus, our genome is relatively static and so resistance mutations would be harder to acquire for HIV - unless it mutated to use another cellular protein.

I think a lot of work will be done on trying to teach the immune system either to deal with HIV and not to destroy itself in trying to eradicate it, or helping it find the latent cells and persistent infections on HAART and finishing the job. Like cancer, the goal is 100% inhibition for eradication because 99% isn't good enough.

It is possible that when HIV is eradicated, the remnants of dead viruses will persist within the body and antibodies to the virus will remain. So patients will remain HIV positive but have no active virus.

Like cancer, it will take a lot of followup testing to ensure the virus has really gone - and this checking could last for a similar amount of time that cancer patients are checked after treatment.

Some people, even doctors, say a cure can not be found. I feel that this is bleak thinking. To find an effective cure for HIV will require climbing a mountain, this much is true. But scientists by nature want to do that to reach the summit.

Afterall, show me one mountaineer who said they didn't want to climb mountains because they were too high.

Rich
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline Central79

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2007, 06:20:42 AM »
This is a really good question, and one I contributed to in the other thread. Personally, I'm on the side of the optimists. As Rich mentioned, if you look at HCV the majority of patients can now be cured through a pretty intensive regime - a lot depends on the subtype of HCV involved with some subtypes being almost untreatable and others being almost always curable.

I think a similar thing will happen with HIV. Doctors can suppress it pretty much totally in the blood, which led to people like Dr David Ho predicting that HAART was strong enough to eradicate HIV on its own in the late 90s. Since then we've learnt about latency, and viral reservoirs. These are still very incompletely understood but people like Dr David Margolis in Carolina have had a good shot at trying to eradicate them and understand them better. He is doing a follow-up study due in 2008. I think as basic science advances the understanding of HIV then better ways of attacking these reservoirs will be uncovered and utilised.

I think, like cancer, a number of different treatment modalities will be used against HIV: radioimmunotherapy, RNA interference, and chemotherapy that can be used alone or in combination to attack HIV. I read a really interesting study that used radioactively labelled antibodies to attack and kill HIV cells. They used it to almost eradicate HIV in the spleens of a mouse model. It was pretty impressive. Obviously, this is nowhere near being trialled in humans, but it definitely gives hope for the future. It's already been proven effective against persistent fungal infections and, of course, cancer.

So I think the bottom line is in 10 years' time we will have moved on a shit load, with perhaps a proportion of HIV positive people being amenable to cure. I don't think any cure is going to be easy, and will probably involve a long treatment with various therapies. So I think the thing for us to do in the meantime is stay as healthy as possible, so we can withstand a nasty cure down the line.

I take a lot of hope from the number of HIV+ mates I have who are going into HIV medicine and research. A therapeutic vaccine is still a long way off, and in the meantime the pool of infected people is only going to grow larger. We're already living longer and that gives us the opportunity to do more - I'm looking fwd to a long career in HIV medicine and research.

Here are a couple of optimistic links:

http://www.amfar.org/cgi-bin/iowa/news/press.html?record=161

http://www.amfar.org/cgi-bin/iowa/programs/resrch/record.html?record=38 An interview with Dr Mario Stevenson at amFAR.

Matt.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2007, 06:22:46 AM by Matt Mee »
Diagnosed January 2006
26/1/06 - 860 (22%), VL > 500,000
24/4/06 - 820 (24.6%), VL 158,000
13/7/06 - 840 (22%), VL 268,000
1/11/06 - 680 (21%), VL 93,100
29/1/07 - 1,020 (27.5%), VL 46,500
15/5/07 - 1,140 (22.8%), VL not done.
13/10/07 - 759 (23.2%), VL 170,000
6/11/07 - 630 (25%), VL 19,324
14/1/08 - 650 (21%), VL 16,192
15/4/08 - 590 (21%), VL 40, 832

Offline koi1

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2007, 08:28:09 AM »
Less toxic treatment fo HIV is somewhere out there where we least expect it.

Even though we sometimes get our hopes up too high, it is good that scientists are working on finding, and developing better treatments.

Pour me another cup of coffee! Check this article out on the integrase mechanism by green coffee beans.

http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/19980816032326data_trunc_sys.shtml
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline Maestro

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2007, 09:06:35 AM »
Well, modern medicine really has a horrible record "curing" viral diseases.  Preventing them is another story.  I mean go to the doc with a bacterial infection and anti-biotics come to your rescue.  Go to a doc with a viral infection such as the flu, and the best they can do is give you some meds to treat the symptoms while your body fights the virus.

When I was getting my BS in Biology I took an uper-level course called Virology and it was very interesting.  The average person see's no distinction between a virus and a bacteria and thus demands anti-biotics whenever they visit a doc. 

So, I think the best bet for a cure would be to somehow stimulate the body to remove the virus itself.  No easy task since the cells doing the removing are the very ones being attacked by the virus. 

Offline Ihavehope

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2007, 10:52:32 AM »
"I've got the brains, you've got the looks, let's make lots of money."

Oh wait are you the Mary and I'm the Rhoda?

rob

Are you cheating on me Robert? I go to bed early one night and I find you flirting??

 ;)
Infected: April 2005
12/6/06 - Diagnosed HIV positive
12/19/06 - CD4 = 240  22% VL = 26,300
1/4/07 - CD4 = 200 16% VL = ?
2/9/07 = Started Kaletra/Truvada
3/13/07 = CD4 = 386 22% VL ?

Offline ACinKC

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #31 on: March 08, 2007, 11:07:29 AM »
What are the thoughts regarding RNA destroyer genes?  I dont remember the official term because I read about it some time ago.  But basically the concept was steeped in gene therapy and send out little RNA fighter jets to attack the virus.  This is the route to me that sounded most promising, but then again, I am NO SCIENTIST.

I think the secret lies in the genes.  Unlike the pointy one who thinks the secret lies in the JEANS, and is constantly trying to find it there!
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline Cerrid

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2007, 11:40:16 AM »
A cure? Unlikely. For the reasons mentioned above (latent pools etc)

A preventive vaccine? Unlikely. There are so many different strains, subtypes and families around, we would need a lot of different vaccines to tackle them all.

A therapeutic vaccine? Possibly, but on a long term. Perhaps a gene therapy approach which is able to control viral replication and eliminate new copies when the latent pools become active. (Heck, am I the only one who constantly thinks of Spiderman when there's word about gene therapy? And... wouldn't it be cool?)

Smart Drugs. Once-daily-dosage, no side-effects, affordable. That's the most likely development I see in the future.
"Boredom is always counterrevolutionary. Always." (Guy Debord)

Offline HIVworker

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  • HIV researcher
Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2007, 07:10:14 PM »
Modern medicine doesn't focus too hard on stopping most viruses because most viruses cause an acute infection that is gone before the patient gets into the doctors office - or it is too late for therapy. Think about it. You have 800 million dollars and someone asks you to do something about the flu and you have to decide how to get a treatment to help the largest number of people possible. Do you...

a) Create an antiviral to be used to stop the virus given that most people won't be in the clinic until the virus has taken hold or don't go to a doctor.

b) You create a vaccine to prevent people from getting it.

For chronic infections such as HepC cures exist. There are treatments that dampen the symptoms of other chronic infections..except HIV. There are therapies that slow progression of the disease and k/o 99% of viral replication. Even for the flu there are drugs that can prevent an acute infection killing the patient.

While there is a long way to go, using the term "Horrible" indicates little or no progress. Given that there were no antivirals 60 years ago, I feel progress has been made.
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline lostboy

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2007, 07:57:56 PM »

Smart Drugs. Once-daily-dosage, no side-effects, affordable. That's the most likely development I see in the future.


Well said.  The biggest breakthrough I would like to see would be AFFORDABLE medications.  That would free me from a huge burden of worry.  I wouldn't be tied to an unfulfilling job to keep my excellent insurance.  I wouldn't have to worry about the future finances of my family.  Just making the meds cheap would give me a huge sense of FREEDOM.

Lost
"There is no gene for the human spirit"

Offline milker

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2007, 08:40:09 PM »
I got Hep-A and Hep-B and for both i'm totally immune, meaning that the virus has been completely kicked out of the system and it's virtually impossible for me to have Hep-A or B again. Both Heps were treated by my body itself, I didn't get any medication, they just let the body fight, it took about 4 months. Ok I was very yellow and it was scary, but they were monitoring very closely and decided that I didn't need more help. So I believe that this too will be possible for the HIV virus, by helping the body fight the virus so hard that it will actually kick it out completely and make you completely immune against another infection. I'm new to this, but the drugs I hear about are apparently either trying to make the virus disfunctional so it doesn't transform the good cells into bad cells, or making it "slippery" so it can't attach to cells. Is there any drug that is in the work to create "cd4s on steroids" like a Terminator "Astalavista Baby" type of cd4 :D Or is there one already ? I know it's very complex to design drugs that won't actually kill you, but i'm wondering?
mid-dec: stupid ass
mid-jan: seroconversion
mid-feb: poz
mar 07: cd4 432 (35%) vl 54000
may 07: cd4 399 (28%) vl 27760
jul 07: cd4 403 (26%) vl 99241
oct 07: cd4 353 (24%) vl 29993
jan 08: cd4 332 (26%) vl 33308
mar 08: cd4 392 (23%) vl 75548
jun 08: cd4 325 (27%) vl 45880
oct 08: cd4 197 (20%) vl 154000 <== aids diagnosis
nov 2 08 start Atripla
nov 30 08: cd4 478 (23%) vl 1880 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
feb 19 09: cd4 398 (24%) vl 430 getting there!
apr 23 09: cd4 604 (29%) vl 50 woohoo :D :D
jul 30 09: cd4 512 (29%) vl undetectable :D :D
may 27 10: cd4 655 (32%) vl undetectable :D :D

Now accepting applications from blowjob ninjas™

Offline Cerrid

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2007, 04:59:37 AM »
Is there any drug that is in the work to create "cd4s on steroids" like a Terminator "Astalavista Baby" type of cd4 :D Or is there one already ?

Not quite steroids, but there were promising studies on interleukin-7 presented at the recent CROI. IL-7 seems to act as some sort of power booster of cd4s. Here are the study abstracts:

http://www.retroconference.org/2007/Abstracts/29048.htm
http://www.retroconference.org/2007/Abstracts/28735.htm
"Boredom is always counterrevolutionary. Always." (Guy Debord)

Offline Central79

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Re: To cure or not to cure...
« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2007, 05:02:00 AM »
EVERYBODY here should be immunised against Hepatitis A and B. You don't have to contract the disease in order to become immune - there are excellent vaccinations available. A proportion of patients with Hep A and B don't clear the virus from their bodies. Don't put yourself in this position.

What are the thoughts regarding RNA destroyer genes? 

You mean RNA interference. I think this is pretty exciting stuff. It's one of the few ways I can see side-effect free control of HIV - as it would just be targeted against one or more HIV genes, rather than anything occuring naturally in the body. It definitely deserved the Nobel Prize last year. Compared to RNAi, I think every other drug is like trying to do eye surgery with a cutlass - they're going to have side effects, and resistance will (sooner or later) develop. I've yet to see a drug with no side effects - read the pamphlet that comes with aspirin, you'll see what I mean!

I don't see RNAi as a way of curing HIV by itself. The problem with latency would remain - RNAi would only work if the HIV gene in question was actually being transcribed.

HAART is pretty powerful. It's just finding a way of getting them into every compartment of the body and then dealing with the latency issue.
Diagnosed January 2006
26/1/06 - 860 (22%), VL > 500,000
24/4/06 - 820 (24.6%), VL 158,000
13/7/06 - 840 (22%), VL 268,000
1/11/06 - 680 (21%), VL 93,100
29/1/07 - 1,020 (27.5%), VL 46,500
15/5/07 - 1,140 (22.8%), VL not done.
13/10/07 - 759 (23.2%), VL 170,000
6/11/07 - 630 (25%), VL 19,324
14/1/08 - 650 (21%), VL 16,192
15/4/08 - 590 (21%), VL 40, 832

 


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