October #64 : Sit Up, Sit Down? - by Lark Lands

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Stephen Gendin

Be Very Afraid

The CD4 Solution?

The Boys in the Band

Bare Witness

The March

My, What a Big Trial IL-2 Has! Will It Work?

AIDSplotation or Art?

Refugee All-Stars

Drive-By Shopping

Upward Mobility



Take Five

POZ Picks

The Medium Is The Message

A Conference Of Their Own


Cutting Class

Last Word

It Takes A Village Voice

Conference of the Century

Stop and Start

Sit Up, Sit Down?

Too Much Information

Sex RX

Talking Tipranavir

Shelf Life

The In Crowd

Herb Of The Month

He Died Of Old AIDS

10.8.88: Old Flames

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

October 2000

Sit Up, Sit Down?

by Lark Lands

The Durban AIDS conference uncorked no magnum breakthroughs but did not serve up a few tantalizing tidbits on possible advances. Some just might make your drug cocktail go down a little easier. POZ Science Editor Lark Lands reports.

Interest in Strategic Treatment Interruptions (STIs)—for boosting the immune response to HIV decreasing toxicity and cost, and improving adherence—has skyrocketed in recent months; buy long-term research on their pros and cons is sorely missing. Durban brought us a few captivating though inconclusive results. Anthony Fauci, MD director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), presented very preliminary data on two approaches to what he insisted on dubbing Structured Intermittent Therapy (SIT)—as if this epidemic needed another confusing acronym. In the first, HAART given in an eight-weeks-four-weeks-off-cycle resulted in lower viral rebound (which could indicate improvement in the immune response to HIV) during the time-off at the end of the second or third SIT cycle in six out of seven patients (got that?). In the seventh patient, it produced increasing viral loads. CD4 counts did not fall (or rise) during the four to nine months of follow-up. And the activity of cytotoxic T cells (immune cells that destroy infected cells) increased in patients, but showed no change in four others. In the second approach, drugs given to seven people on a one-week-on, one-week-off schedule resulted in no viral rebound in six, and only a single detectable spike in the seventh. NIAID’s research on SITs continues, but no further results are in.

On a darker note, Andrew McNeil, MD, at the University of California at Davis. Presented data showing that the increased viral load in seven people who discontinued therapy resulted in suppression of the so-called lymphoproliferative response of the HIV-specific CD4 cells. This means that these cells, important players in the immune responses to HIV, did not increase in number in response to the presence of the virus during the time off drugs. If this data is confirmed, it doesn’t bode well for the potential, of SITs, STIs or whatever you call them to promote the body’s natural control of the virus.

So, the take-home message from Durban was mixed: You may ultimately be able to take a vacation from the drugs and all of their nasty side effects—perhaps long enough to make affordable even in the developing world—without the risking your CD4s. But you may never be able to discontinue your meds for good.

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.