Monthly Archives: November 2005

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Fourth Infusion Postponed Due to Viral Load

The clinical trial has postponed the 4th infusion because my viral load after the last one is two high. The plan is to monitor the viral load weekly until it drops to a safe level.

Lab Results After Infusion

I received the labs from last week today. The results showed an increase in the CD4 count, yet the viral load tripled. Also, my red blood count is just a little under normal. I found out via a letter from Glaxo-Smith-Kline that Viread and combivir, (both of which I am on) can lower the red blood counts. Fuzeon is know to lower testosterone. Several months ago my testosterone was low. All these effects combined could explain the fatigue I have experienced aside from the VRX496 infusions. More to come…..

Third Infusion Completed

Today I received the third infusion of my Cd4 cells with vrx496. Once again the nurse drew blood for testing just prior to the infusion. The infusion took a total of 15 miniutes to receive, as usual. Once again, I immediately experienced the funny “garlic/metal” taste in my mouth from the preservative in the product. This lasted 3-4 hours. I was slightly light headed just after the infusion, and have less fatigue than with the first infusion. The cold I had last week is gone as well as the bronchitis. This is probably due to the “z” pack the doctor prescribed for me last week. All seems to be going well.

New Labs Previous to 2nd Infusion

As I write this today, I am recovering from a slight case of sinuitis and bronchitis, which began on the heels of the 2nd infusion. The blood work drawn just prior to the 2nd infusion showed an increase in the viral load of about 100%. The Cd4 count dropped just a bit. These results are closer to the prediction of the Virxsys scientist.

HIV and Resistance

Resistance and HIV Treatment
Nov 1 2005, 01:00 pm
I first became resistant to treatment around 1996. Just before the protease inhibitors came out in 1997, I was on a regimen of AZT and DDI. Because I began to develope Peripheral Neuropathy, I was taken off of the DDI, which is Neurotoxic. Thanks to the Almighty, in 1997 the Protease inhibitors came out. I was first put on Crixivan. Because I developed abdominal pain assiciated with pancreatitis, my doctor took me off the crix and put me on Epivir. Because I developed diarrhea with epivir, she changed me to another PI. So on and so forth, the side effects caused me to change from one drug to the next, until the HIV strain in me developed resistance to treatment. There are many reasons why HIV can become resistant. The following are a few of them:1. Alcohol and illicit drug use.2. Failure to comply with the prescribed regimen.3. High sugar and fat diet (prevents full absorbsion of the meds) Sugar weakens the immune system. 4. Tobacco Use (weakens the immune system).5. HIV strains mutated prior to infection.6. Unprotected sex with another HIV poz partner.7. Side effects that cause one to have to change meds often.I am sure there are others, and I hope that those of you who are aware of them will feel free to add your comments.

What Is VRX496?

VRX496 is a genetically altered HIV-I strain that has certain protiens removed from the DNA strand and then an enzime(s) put into the strand that “chews” up active HIV in the blood stream. The delivery system is the patients own CD4 cells that are harvested through Aepheresis and then multiplied in the laboritory into the hundreds of millions. Then, these altered cells, injected with VRX496, are reinfused back over a series of eight infusions, once every two weeks. The vectors injected into the patient’s own cd4 cells will then destroy the ability of thethe active HIV in the blood stream to replicate active HIV. Instead, the hope is that the vectors will cause the HIV to replicate the new DNA, duplicating more CD4 cells that are resistant to HIV.

The company that developed this ground breaking treatment is called Virxsys, located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Clinical trials have just begun as phase II. Five paitients in Pennsylvania were studied last year and now, the next group has begun this summer. I am patient number 8 globally to be tested with this treatment.