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Long term non progressor

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NewYorkKat:
I have a question: What qualifies a person to be a long term non progresser? What causes this? Genetics? Weak strain? Sure like to know. Thanks!

aztecan:
Hey Kat,

I'm not sure of the exact qualifications, but I believe it is someone who has lived with HIV for at least 15 years, has never had to start meds and, I think, either has a controlled or undetectable viral load. I am not sure of the last point.

A long-term non-progressor either has to have an undetectable viral load or a low one, but I don't know which it is. We have some people here who are long-term nonprogressors, so I'm sure they will clear this up.

As to what causes it, researchers are doing studies now to determine the causes of this. In some cases, there are people who have a genetic predisposition for this. I don't know if attenuated viruses can contribute to this or not.

My first doc said I was a long-term slow progressor, which meant that I eventually started meds, but I managed 11 years without them with no problems, OIs, low CD4s or high viral loads.

HUGS,

Mark

bear60:
Because the studies being conducted on Long Term Non Progressors are mostly based in genetics....I would say that genetics is the reason some of us HIV positive folks are called NON Progressors.  I believe that there are several catagories of non progressors.
I am one of those Non Progressors who has never been on meds. I first tested  positive for HIV in 1989 but have not "progressed" to needing to take meds to control it and have not "progressed" to an AIDS diagnosis. The study I am in is the one at Harvard : http://www.massgeneral.org/aids/hiv_elite_controllers.asp

redhotmuslbear:
I'm also contributing to the Elite Controllers study, but I'm more involved with "CD8-mediated immunity" studies at NIH where I got my LTNP tiara 15 months ago at the end of a drug study where I had been on placebo....we also uncovered CSF samples which had been stored in 1984 (I've always been easy for sweet-talking scientists) that had HIV in them. I was on meds from 6/98 to 10/05 because at the beginning of that period my viral load was 680,000 due to having acquired hep A:  I had ducked dealing with HIV for years, then I sezed onto meds for five years while my doc kept encouraging me to stop them.

As for the "immunity," it relates a specific mutation -- a B44+ allele in my human lymphocyte antigen (HLA) genes.  It's not one of the automatic predictors of LTNP-hood, so the researchers want to know what else is so different about my system that my suppressor cells can normally control the virus on their own.  The secret is undoubtedly associated with why my body would reject surgical tubing in the brain and why my allergies are so severe.

Geez.... all anyone wants me for is my body.....

Cheers,
David

bear60:
Please expalin more:  The secret is undoubtedly associated with why my body would reject surgical tubing in the brain and why my allergies are so severe.

I have pretty severe allergies too and would like for you to talk about this.

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