AIDS TREATMENT NEWS Issue #221, April 21, 1995
AIDS TREATMENT NEWS would like to hear from physicians, other
medical professionals, and patients about any cases of
striking, unusual, or unexpected reduction in viral load.
This request was inspired by a case in which viral load went
from 483,000 copies in January 1994 to 26,000 in August 1994;
the only treatment changes during that period were starting
high-dose acyclovir to treat a herpes outbreak, and starting
DNCB and Trental. [This patient, who is an expert on
conventional and alternative treatments, suggests that anyone
who is HIV positive and has a history of herpes should
consider acyclovir. We also suggest getting a baseline viral
load test first, to be able to tell if viral load goes down
after starting the treatment; acyclovir is a safe drug, but
it is expensive.] We wanted to bring this case, and other
examples of major improvement after treatment change, to the
attention of our readers.
Your report should include:
* At least two viral load test results, so that a change can
be seen. Preferably use the Roche quantitative HIV PCR (for
example, the test offered by RBL, Roche Biomedical
Laboratories), or the Chiron branched DNA test.
* Any CHANGES in treatment between these tests, which might
have accounted for the change.
* Major treatments which did NOT change during that period --
especially antivirals such as AZT, ddI, ddC, d4T, 3TC,
protease inhibitors, or other experimental treatments such
* A name and phone number or address so that we can contact
you if we have additional questions.
Send your report to: AIDS Treatment News, P.O. Box 411256,
San Francisco, CA 94141. Alternatively, you can call John
James at 415/255-6259, or send a fax to 415/255-4659.