May #35 : Spit Tune - by Scott Hess

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Table of Contents

Just His Imagination

Down On the Pharm

From Unsafe to Ill

Power Plants

Take a Letter, Shalala

Sherri on Top

Jibe Talk

AIDS and the Single Girl

Lazarus: Love Among the Ruins

Survey: A Council Resigned

Plant Primer


Garden Variety

Spit Tune

Life: Good Pill Hunting

Last Laugh: Impossible Dream

What's The Point?

Read This: Heroic Measures

Number's Up

Mother's Little Helpers

A Yale Tale

The Big Sleep


Say What

More Life: Even Tough Guys Get HIV

Tribute: My Brother, My Self

HIV Naysayers Find Their Achilles' HEAL

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

May 1998

Spit Tune

by Scott Hess

The FYI on TSP

It could be spit or miss, but researchers reported that TSP (thrombospondin), a natural sugar protein in human saliva, may block HIV from entering the body. "We began exploring why there is so little HIV in saliva," said Dr. Jeffrey Laurence of the Lab for AIDS Virus Research at New York Hospital. "This led to the discovery of TSP." What's up, doc? "In order for HIV to infect a cell in your body, it needs a door to get in -- and the major door is CD4. TSP blocks the ability of HIV to bind to that door by mounting a barrier."

The doc is developing a TSP-based cream or jelly to be inserted rectally or vaginally. TSP derivatives could potentially also be put in condoms, suppositories and mouthwashes. Laurence aims to test TSP on animals, but warned against hyping the power of saliva: "I don't want people to get the idea that you can spit on someone's rectum and prevent them from getting infected."

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