MadSci Network: Immunology
Query:

Re: could this be a cure for aids? (not hiv)

Date: Tue Oct 28 03:42:07 2003
Posted By: Steven Reid, Staff, Immunology, IDRL
Area of science: Immunology
ID: 1066984670.Im
Message:

This is emerging as a highly contentious issue in world health.  There 
seems to be a huge crisis, particularly in Africa with HIV transmission 
and AIDS.  In the West, anti-retroviral therapy (ART) has been incredibly 
successful in that the number of people dying of AIDS has fallen 
dramatically.  We may have to rethink AIDS as a chronic disease rather 
than one which is terminal.  In Africa the situation is somewhat 
different.  These drugs are incredibly expensive and also require strict 
adherence to the drug regimen or risk the emergence of resistant virus.  
With some of these drugs, even being a few hours late with them is cause 
for concern.  It's my understanding that many drug companies have indeed 
provided vast quantities of drugs at cheaper/low cost to Africa.  
However it is alleged that certain governments in Africa are slow to 
distribute them and may have even sold them back to the West at a 
profit.  As with many healthcare issues, education is key to helping the 
transmission of HIV in Africa.  Education and access to contraception 
will slow HIV transmission.  

As for this particular technology I have not come across it before and am 
not a chemist and I have no knowledge of this kind of work.  I have not 
come across any trials or data on this either.  There seems to be no 
published data at all.  Itís generally accepted that if you have 
something new to report it needs to be backed up with data published and 
reviewed by other scientists.  Until then, until you have seen the data 
itís very difficult to say whether new technologies work or not.  I would 
guess that a limitation of this kind of technology is that HIV in common 
with all viruses is an intracellular pathogen - it is what's called an 
obligate parasite.  It cannot live outside the cells.  It divides in the 
cells and will cause the death of the infected T cell (the T cells 
orchestrate the entire immune response so the loss of huge numbers of T 
cells would be catastrophic).  Iím not sure that these silver tetroxide 
compounds would be able to differentiate between an infected and 
uninfected cell.  For looking for published data and information look at  
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed




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