View From The Trenches

William Tivol tivol at news.wadsworth.org
Mon Jul 17 17:54:24 EST 1995


U58563 at uicvm.uic.edu wrote:
[most snipped]
: The way I imagine it, by 1986, it should have been possible to use five or six
: of these drugs on AIDS patients in rapid rotation until every last virus was
: dead.

	Not really.  Remember, most of the African countries where AIDS is pre-
valent did not even acknowledge its existance at that time.  Getting every last
virus has proved to be beyond human capability (with the possible exception of
smallpox).

:    Meanwhile, more sophisticated strategies have been developed.  I believe
: that the paper showing DNA immunization of a mouse against *all* strains of
: influenza simultaneously came out in 1993.  Last November the Army took out a
: contract to study the treatment as an option for AIDS.  I daresay that if it
: were not for regulation, this sort of treatment would not be such a pie-in-the-
: sky option as the corporations apparently regard it now!

	The two viruses are sufficiently different that what has been reported
in one may well not work for the other.  Nonetheless, it is a good thing to
try.  There was a recent report of a combined (I think 3-drug) therapy, which
worked really well for a while, but lost effectiveness with time.  The take-
home lesson is that HIV is very adaptible.  The successful therapy will likely
be very sophisticated, requiring simultaneous attack on many stages of viral
growth which are not also stages of human cell growth.
				Yours,
				Bill Tivol



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