March #142 : Boosting Immunity - by Laura Whitehorn

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The Long Haul

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The POZ Diabetes Diet Makeover

Quitting Time

Boosting Immunity

Caffeine Fix

Staph Memo

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Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

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What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


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March 2008


Boosting Immunity

by Laura Whitehorn

Can a cancer drug double as an HIV therapy?

What if you could delay starting daily HIV meds for as much as a year—by getting a series of injections? In a recent French study, positive people did just that. The research has revitalized hopes that the cancer drug IL-2 (brand name Proleukin) may someday join the ranks of HIV therapies.

Optimists have long believed that pumping up your immune system with IL-2, rather than just attacking the virus (as other available HIV meds do), could help control HIV. But while earlier research showed that IL-2—which may cause side effects including nausea—boosts CD4 counts, it hasn’t been clear whether it would also control HIV levels and prolong health. The French study offers hope that the answer might be oui. Studies continue; to find them, search clinicaltrials.gov.


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