July #37 : Urine Luck

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The Good Doctor

Dying for a Vaccine

Ashok to the System

Banking on Disaster

International Dream Team 1998

Not Your Average Joe


To the Editor

Conference Call

Poz Picks

AIDS Is Over

Mourning Star


Penny Wose, Pound Foolish

River Runs Dry

In the Blood

Nine Lives

Off the Shelf

Power Nutrients

Saved by the Cell

Time Warp

Catch Air!

Urine Luck

External Affairs

HIV, Sir!

Phone Sex

Germs in Sperm

Autograph Book

Baby Dolls

No Needles

Strike a Pose

CPR for HAART Failure

Salvadoran Savior

POZ Index

Indelicate Balance

Mistruths and Consequences

Positive Planet

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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July 1998

Urine Luck

Golden showers hold anti-KS powers

A mystery protein in pregnant women’s pee may wipe out HIV, said Dr. Robert Gallo in April’s Nature Medicine. A chance observation in a 1995 Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) study led the HIV codiscoverer’s team to find a new function for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced during the first trimester of pregnancy. When male and female mice injected with KS cells were put in the same cage by mistake, those that didn’t develop KS had one thing in common—they were females that got pregnant soon after the injection. That led Gallo to try hCG in PWAs. Surprise! The hormone not only shrank KS tumors, it also reduced the HIV in several patients’ blood.

Gallo now cites “hCG-associated factor,” or HAF, as responsible, and said it appears to inhibit viral replication in CD4 cells. The best news? HAF may encourage the growth of red and white blood cells. Once the mystery protein is identified, it will be synthesized and tested in animals and people. But a Nature Medicine editorial noted, “This is not without problems—the only known source is first-trimester human urine and it took 40 liters (42.4 quarts) just to get this far.”

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