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Author Topic: why is AIDS untreatable?  (Read 7938 times)

Offline benep

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« on: 07/04/2009 23:17:46 »
Aids is one of those viruses of which i really dont understand, and the question i put to you lot about it is: Why is AIDS untreatable?and what makes the virus so strong that it cant be treated with medicince or surgery?


 

Variola

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« Reply #1 on: 07/04/2009 23:51:53 »
Aids is one of those viruses of which i really dont understand, and the question i put to you lot about it is: Why is AIDS untreatable?and what makes the virus so strong that it cant be treated with medicince or surgery?

Im not sure what info you are looking for, but I'll give you a very brief synopsis.

HIV is treatable, thats why people with HIV infection are living much longer than before, 10-15 years, its a better prognosis in some cases than cancer. There are lots of different retroviral drugs used now that attack or supress the virus actions in different ways.Its combinations of these drugs that are enabling people to live longer, and why good medical care and check ups are important for them to monitor their HIV infection state and adapt the drugs accordingly.

AIDS is a combination of different illnesses that would usually be fought off by the bodys immune system when it is healthy. PCP ( pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) is rarely seen in people who have a healthy immune system but is common in people with AIDS/HIV, as is Kaposi's sarcoma and opportunistic infections.

HIV infects cells of the immune system, mainly T-helper cells such as CD4s, dendritic cells and some macrophages. The infection rate is quite slow, but when the cell count falls too low the immune system cannot function, and the person falls ill.
Its a clever virus as it inserts some of its RNA into the host cells DNA, the upshot of which is that the cell replicates the HIV virus, thats how all viruses work, but the problem with HIV is that it invade the very cells that would destroy it, and it also takes over the function by which the cells would flag up that they are infected to the immune system.
 

Offline Karen W.

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« Reply #2 on: 08/04/2009 00:52:32 »
That is a very good explanation Variola.. I did not know that either... Knew it was treatable but not how it worked etc...

Ben... nice post and question?
 

Offline MonikaS

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« Reply #3 on: 08/04/2009 11:15:30 »
HIV is indeed treatable, like Variola wrote. Those treatments have severe side-effects, though. It's not just popping a few pills each day and life goes on like before.

HIV is not curable! The virus is really sneaky and mutates in a way that makes it next to impossible for the immune system to fight it. The modern antiviral drugs help to keep the viral loads in the blood low, so low that the virus isn't even detectable anymore. But it's still there in the the DNA of the T-Helper cells.
Due to the fast mutation rate of the virus the antiviral drugs lose their effectiveness for the individual patient and then even with the best treatment available AIDS symptoms will start.

So while an HIV infection isn't an immediate death-sentence anymore, it's still a severe chronic infection that will subtract more than a few years from the life expectancy, even if you have access to modern drugs.

So use protection!
 

Offline benep

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« Reply #4 on: 08/04/2009 13:37:19 »
but, what i meant is how come we cant destroy it, rather then slow it down, how come we cant just get rid of it?
 

Variola

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« Reply #5 on: 08/04/2009 13:56:47 »
but, what i meant is how come we cant destroy it, rather then slow it down, how come we cant just get rid of it?

Mainly becausr it hides from the immune system, and depletes the immue system, therefore our natural ability to fight it is reduced.
 

Offline benep

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« Reply #6 on: 08/04/2009 22:41:46 »
ah i see, so how come we cant just surgically get rid of it?
 

Variola

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« Reply #7 on: 09/04/2009 01:08:28 »
ah i see, so how come we cant just surgically get rid of it?


How?????? Viruses are too small and prolific to cut out every infected cell.
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« Reply #8 on: 09/04/2009 02:45:40 »
Somebody did get cured of it, the doctors replaced his bone marrow with one that produces immune cells that are naturally immune to it. He's got no detectable virus at all now; although he may still have it at extremely low levels, but he's very probably never going to get AIDS.
 

Variola

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« Reply #9 on: 09/04/2009 12:34:57 »
Somebody did get cured of it, the doctors replaced his bone marrow with one that produces immune cells that are naturally immune to it. He's got no detectable virus at all now; although he may still have it at extremely low levels, but he's very probably never going to get AIDS.


Now I had heard something like that mention before. Do you have any references? (said in a very non-challenging purely out of interest way!):)
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« Reply #10 on: 09/04/2009 14:39:54 »
It is under research now, in 2015 it will be launced
What will be launched?
 

Offline kenneth

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« Reply #11 on: 10/04/2009 09:51:17 »
newbielink:http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE4AC07O20081113 [nonactive]

the patient needed a bone marrow transplant because he/she had leukemia, but when the patient was all done, he/she was cured of leukemia AND the HIV virus.

PLEASE VERIFY OR CORRECT MY FOLLOWING STATEMENT IF IT IS WRONG I AM JUST BIBBLE-BABBLING...
They speculate that it has to do with the father AND the mother having a certain mutation in their DNA that allows a person's bone marrow to be used in a transplant that could cure the HIV virus. I believe it is years from ever being able to be used practically as a "cure."
 

Offline DrN

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« Reply #12 on: 12/04/2009 19:32:21 »
I've heard of this too, but surely it depends on the HIV virus not mutating to overcome this gene (product) too? It mutates so quickly, how long would any 'cure' last? Or would it only be viable for people with certain strains?

I know that anti-retroviral treatment is considered 'successful' if the particle count is reduced to below a certain level (although I can't remember what it is, it seemed relatively high) and patients have to keep taking the drugs in order to keep the viral particle count low. And on top of that, there are resistance issues in the same way as bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics.
 

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why is AIDS untreatable?
« Reply #12 on: 12/04/2009 19:32:21 »

 

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