Can the Body Control HIV Infection without Drugs? Early Findings Suggest That Intensive Early Treatment May Arm the Immune System against the AIDS Virus

By Check, Erika | Newsweek, October 9, 2000 | Go to article overview

Can the Body Control HIV Infection without Drugs? Early Findings Suggest That Intensive Early Treatment May Arm the Immune System against the AIDS Virus


Check, Erika, Newsweek


The patient had stayed home from work one day three years ago because he thought he had the flu. But as he read a front-page article in a Boston newspaper, he got worried. The article described a flulike syndrome that people develop shortly after contracting HIV. It's often the only symptom an infected person shows until years later, when the immune system falters and the first signs of AIDS appear. So the patient decided to get tested for the virus. The results confirmed his worst fear--he tested positive--but there was one small consolation. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital were investigating a new strategy against HIV. They wanted to know whether treating people intensively during the earliest phase of infection might ultimately enable them to suppress the virus on their own. Most folks are well beyond the flulike "acute phase" of HIV infection before they learn they have a problem. Because this patient acted on his suspicion, he was perfect for the study.

He must be glad he joined. The researchers reported their initial findings in the journal Nature last week, and they're utterly tantalizing. By starting treatment early, and interrupting it for brief periods once they had the virus under control, all of the study's eight participants were able to bolster their immune responses. Indeed, five of the eight have now been off treatment for periods of eight to 11 months--and their infections are still well under control. The study was small, and the results are preliminary, but, says Dr. Bruce Walker of Mass General's Partners AIDS Research Center, "we now have proof of principle that the immune system can get the upper hand against the virus."

HIV ravages the immune system's so-called T-helper cells. Despite their name, these cells are the generals responsible for mobilizing other parts of the immune system against infection. They put up a good fight at first, creating a large army of "killer" cells (cytotoxic T-lymphocytes) that seek out and destroy cells infected by HIV. But as HIV replicates year after year, the immune system wears down and eventually collapses. Combinations of powerful drugs can handcuff the virus for long periods, but it typically roars back into action as soon as a person stops taking them.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Can the Body Control HIV Infection without Drugs? Early Findings Suggest That Intensive Early Treatment May Arm the Immune System against the AIDS Virus
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.