"AIDS Treatment News" online * New Issue #302 (searchable/indexed)
George M. Carter
gmc0 at ix.netcom.com
Sun Nov 1 08:26:27 EST 1998
johnburgin at worldnet.att.net wrote:
>I repeat, where have I been wrong? I said that you can't have it both
>ways. You can't use the immunity defense when things work and forget
>about it when things don't. I repeat, what will the HIV serologic
>status be for a person "immunized" against "a" strain of HIV?
Oh, boy. I understand at least one area for your staunchly held
beliefs: you're ignorant of fundamental immunology.
Antibodies are produced by the body (B cells) in response to an
infection. Their presence is tested by a variety of techniques and
indicate the presence of that infection. The course of disease can
then range from recovery (infectious agent is either eliminated or
controlled) to failure to recover. Hepatitis infection, as well as
HIV, among others are examples of diseases where the course can go
Even when the infectious agent is cleared, that response remains in a
quieter state: the body is primed and aware in case it should
encounter a similar pathogen again.
Now, when a VACCINE is used, depending on the nature of the vaccine,
there will be an antibody response to the antigens in the vaccine. So
on an antibody test, a person will be HIV+ even though they have not
yet been infected. The vaccine will not result in replicating virus,
but just send the signals to the body to alert it to the possibility
of a future attack. An EFFECTIVE vaccine will assure that exposure to
any quasispecies of HIV is fended off.
Vaccination-induced seropositivity is NOT the same as
infection-induced seropositivity. (There are many different kinds of
vaccines, including whole-killed, live but disabled, subunit and other
varieties; the "live but disabled" variety (my terms) MAY represent a
risk of the virus converting to "live and able" and thus causing
There are other risks associated with vaccines.
George M. Carter
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