Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Research News & Studies

Early HIV drugs 'functionally cure about one in 10'

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--- Quote from: skycee on March 16, 2013, 03:10:56 AM ---Post-treatment controllers tended to have very high viral loads soon after infection, while elite controllers are more likely to keep virus levels down, even at the start, the researchers said. The immune systems of the post-treatment controllers also tended to differ in certain ways from those of elite controllers.

--- End quote ---

Maybe I'll end up as a post controller?   I actually have a potential situation where I'll be able to find out in several months.  (I'll post my results if/when it happens)

I was diagnosed early 2012.   I had a pretty bad flu for 3 weeks so I got tested.  They told me I had a VL of 2 million, but still tested negative for antibodies.  (they have a dual HIV test at the clinic I went to)  So that means I caught it about as early as it gets.

I did research and I jumped into a clinical trial of a new CC5 blocking med:  (with Truvada)
(when I started, I felt normal, and VL was pretty low naturally)
I became undetectable in several weeks. (and zero side effects)

I just completed the cenicriviroc trial and switched to complera a month ago. (again zero side effects)

The next trial I'm on the top of the list to participate in Arm 2 or 3 of the Calimmune Gene transfer trial.

Here's the interesting part.........

I need to STOP taking my meds several weeks before I get treated via Calimmune.    I never imagined that I might remain undetectable after I stop ART.  I'll have been on ART nearly 2 years by the time they would want me.   The fact I was on the CCR5 blocking cenicriviroc for so long and started so early gives me a decent chance at least.   I was told I was the healthiest patient in every program they have across the board too.   So pending my qualification for Calimmune, and they call me,  I'll consider it a double experiment!

I'm pretty sure I was told the Calimmune trial requires you to actually have a detectable VL before they'll treat you.    What if I remain UD month after month?  I would imagine they want test groups to be detectable so they can rule out the potential Post-treatment controller anomalies


--- Quote from: Newguy on March 17, 2013, 05:25:38 PM ---My ID doctor told me the other day she is curious how many people are still taking meds and might be functionally cured. This is indeed very interesting and should blossom into something exciting within the next decade.

--- End quote ---
there's another thread going right now where the topic of a drug holiday is being discussed. Oddly enough instead of hearing from all these functionally cured people, we're hearing all the tales of people whose health plummeted back to AIDS levels and hospitalizations all within 3 -12 months.

Personally I've never heard of someone that quit meds permanently or took a drug holiday whose health didn't fail and didn't die or return to medications to save their lives.

I started taking meds while still in the window period -- positive on the VL, neg on the antibodies.  But I sure wouldn't stop taking meds unless I had a very good reason (such as participating in a trial that I thought had a real shot at a cure).

Do the functionally cured people have normal level of CD8 cells?  Mine have always been elevated (as I imagine all of ours are) in response to the infection.  Seems to me that number should be in the normal range for the functionally cured people.  Does anyone know about CD8 levels with this lucky group of people?

I'm in this "early" treatment group as well.  Based on my recollection, I started what I'd describe as the worse fever of my life about a week after the likely infection date.  But I didn't think much of it until the red spots appeared and a couple lymph nodes swelled a few days later.  At that point I rushed to the doc and didn't leave there until they gave me a viral load test.  I was so sure the antibody test would be pointless.  At first the doc resisted doing it but what else could they do after seeing all the other basic tests come back neg and my high suspicions of what it was, along with my knowing when I thought I might have got infected.  At that point, the doc wanted to know for sure as much as I did, at least to rule it out.   But sure enough I was right, my RNA VL came back about 700k.  Then a week later when I started meds, they gave me another VL test and it pegged the result out at >10million. lol  So I actually had the unique opportunity to see the early upper side of the seroconversion curve with mine.

But even starting meds that early, I would never consider stopping until at least 3 years.  Based on what I read so far from the various research, perhaps up to 20% of HIV infected people eventually start producing antibodies broadly enough to kill over 55% or so of all HIV strains after around 3 years of being infected.  However, since most don't start treatment early, the virus in most has a chance to mutate diversely so much so that by the time their immune system does finally start homing in robustly on it, it is too late.  This is why rarely can anyone's immune system control it, except perhaps if you do starting meds as soon after infection..  The key is that ARV treatment pretty much immediately stops the mass mutation and subsequent viral diversity and gives you a better chance to control it when, and IF, your immune system does start responding better over time.

What I'm wondering is, what if one who started meds early waits longer than 3 years before stopping the meds, would their chance to control it go higher than 20%?  Who knows.   That's why I wouldn't think about stopping and testing this until 5 years at least had gone by.

My unqualified advice would be to wait for at least 7 years. After this time most of the latent cells are dead, except the cells in the bone marrow. I can't recommend a treatment break, You should talk with an expert. May be You can take part in a clinical study.

Anyway, I read this abstract:

Does it mean that DLG can be active against latent macrophages and lymphozytes, or did I misunterstand it?


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