Viral Load levels of HIV and HHV-6A

James Scutero jscutero at panix.com
Fri Feb 17 15:01:42 EST 1995


     In the January 12, 1995 NATURE magazine, researchers Ho
and Wei claimed to have found "billions" of copies of HIV in
the peripheral blood of immunocompromised AIDS patients. At
the press conference held at NYU, I asked David Ho if he measured
the levels of any other viruses, HHV-6 in particular. He said
that he did not look at any other viruses and that his lab did
not have the money to look at any other viruses. Well, it seems
that Robert C. Gallo has answered this question for us.
     In the February 1995 edition of Immunology Today, Paolo
Lusso and Robert C. Gallo write:
     "...a novel, practical test that measures the level of
HHV-6 replication in vivo (i.e the detection of cell-free viral
DNA in serum or plasma by quantitative PCR) has permitted the
documentation of active HHV-6 infection, mostly by HHV-6A
strains, in early symptomatic HIV-infected patients but not
in immunocompetent individuals."(39) 

39. Secchiero, P., Carrigan, D.R., Asano, V. et al. J. Infect.
Dis. (in press)

     The Ho and Wei papers only demonstrate that HIV is just
doing what other pathogens are doing when an individual becomes
immune suppressed-it replicates in great numbers. Ho and Wei
did not measure the level of HIV, or HHV-6A, in immunocompetent
individuals.

Wei looked at:

"Twenty-two HIV-1 infected subjects with CD4+ lymphocyte counts
between 18 and 251 per mm3..." 

These immunosuppressed individuals were also taking ddI (400mg
per day) and zidovudine(AZT) (300-600 mg per day).

Ho looked at:

"Twenty HIV-1 infected patients, whose pretreatment CD4
lymphocyte counts... ranged from 36 to 490 per mm3..."

Fauci's study of long-term survivors who were not taking
nucleoside analogs found low viral load levels of HIV. This
suggests to me that HIV only replicates in the "billions" when
a person becomes immune suppressed by other causes and acts
like an OI of HHV-6A disease.

-James M. Scutero, proponent of misc.health.aids.



More information about the Virology mailing list