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Author Topic: What happens to exisiting HIV when on meds?  (Read 2061 times)

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Offline newhorizon80

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  • Posts: 37
What happens to exisiting HIV when on meds?
« on: November 23, 2008, 05:13:26 PM »

Over the course of the past month, I've done some research on HIV and medications and watched some animations on how the drugs interacts with the virus and so forth, pretty much things we already know.

What I'm wondering is, once the medications lowers your VL to undetectable.  What happened to all the HIV?   The drugs are blocking replication, but what about the existing HIV? ..the drugs don't actually kill the virus (or do they?), aren't they just stopping the replication?
10/30/08: CD4: 486 VL: 13,000
04/23/09: CD4: 456 VL: 8,890
10/27/09: CD4: 358 VL: 6,260
04/27/10: CD4: 413 VL: 7,800
10/19/10: CD4: 416 VL: 26,400*
11/15/10: CD4: 499 VL: 0*
04/05/11: CD4: 521
09/20/11: CD4: 585
03/06/12: CD4: 634
05/29/12: CD4: 643
08/21/12: CD4: 968

Offline edfu

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Re: What happens to exisiting HIV when on meds?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2008, 03:54:04 AM »
Viral-load tests measure the amount of HIV only in the circulating blood.  When such a test comes up "undetectable," it means  that no virus can be detected only in the bloodstream.  HIV may still exist in the lymph nodes, the gut, the brain, and the testes, for example--dormant and not reproducing but still there, capable of reproducing again, for unknown reasons.  To detect HIV in any of its "hiding places," biopsies would have to be performed. 

This is why there is no known cure for HIV infection.  Its reproduction can be stopped to the point at which it can be measured in the blood, but that does not mean the body still does not host HIV somewhere.   
"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire


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