People immune to HIV?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 02, 2008 7:22 AM GMT
    I've read before that a small statistic of Europeans have a mutated protein on their cells that keeps HIV from entering the cell. I've also heard in class from college the same story about some hookers in Thailand.

    So I have some questions:

    Is this true? And if so, what's the percent? Is it an even spread among ethnicities? If it enters their bloodstream, how long would it be in their blood until the virus dies? Also, can they still spread it if it's in their blood and for how long?
  • HereNBoston

    Posts: 221

    Sep 02, 2008 7:57 AM GMT
    Yeah its true. It's a really small percentage like less than 2 i think? don't quote me as its been awhile since i read any literature on it. i remember it was found in mostly scandinavian and some asian groups.

    I think it has to do with a binding protein that's missing. its a receptor site that the virus latches onto to and hijack the cell. i THINK its the CCR5 receptor, i dunno that keeps coming into my head.

    not sure about the other part though. it's probably pretty tough to do a study on something like that since the population is like 1% lol hope that helps
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    Sep 02, 2008 5:10 PM GMT
    Yes it is true. Complete Immunity 1% Resistance to HIV 10 to 15% of those of European descent. See below.


    Genetic resistance to AIDS works in different ways and appears in different ethnic groups. The most powerful form of resistance, caused by a genetic defect, is limited to people with European or Central Asian heritage. An estimated 1 percent of people descended from Northern Europeans are virtually immune to AIDS infection, with Swedes the most likely to be protected. One theory suggests that the mutation developed in Scandinavia and moved southward with Viking raiders.

    All those with the highest level of HIV immunity share a pair of mutated genes -- one in each chromosome -- that prevent their immune cells from developing a "receptor" that lets the AIDS virus break in. If the so-called CCR5 receptor -- which scientists say is akin to a lock -- isn't there, the virus can't break into the cell and take it over.

    To be protected, people must inherit the genes from both parents; those who inherit a mutated gene from just one parent will end up with greater resistance against HIV than other people, but they won't be immune. An estimated 10 percent to 15 percent of those descended from Northern Europeans have the lesser protection.
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    Sep 02, 2008 5:14 PM GMT
    Another study from January 05:

    Besides the Northern Europeans and Central Asians with the CCR5 receptor gene mutation, new research shows that members of several ethnic groups have another, less-powerful kind of AIDS resistance. In the Science study released this week, a large team of investigators report that people who have more copies of a specific gene end up with greater resistance to AIDS, in some cases significantly changing how they handle getting infected.

    The researchers examined the number of copies of a gene known as CCL3L1 in 4,300 people -- some HIV-positive, some HIV-negative. Those with the most copies of the gene -- but only as compared with others in their ethnic group -- had the most immunity to HIV. The HIV-positive people with the fewest gene copies got sick as much as 2.6 times faster than others who were infected.

    More copies of the CCL3L1 gene appear to translate into more proteins known as cytokines, which guide immune cells by latching onto receptors -- those cellular locks. The cytokines "tell inflammatory cells it's time to move and go somewhere," Mosier said. With more cytokines floating around gumming up the cellular keyholes, there are fewer locks for the AIDS virus to pick.

    Compared with the almost-absolute protection afforded by the gene defects in Europeans, "the effect is not as complete, but the prevalence is much higher," said study co-author Dr. Sunil K. Ahuja, professor of medicine at the University of Texas and director of the Veterans Administration Center for HIV and AIDS in San Antonio.
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    Sep 02, 2008 8:57 PM GMT
    IF they only developed a simple (home?) test for this gene imagine all the reckless irresponsible sex we could have...icon_twisted.gif
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    Sep 02, 2008 9:18 PM GMT
    I saw this show on PBS a while back. It was really interesting. Plus they were able to reseach this by going to a small village in England where the families have never moved for like 600 years and they have the genealogies of them all. So they were able to trace the genetics back to survivors of the plague...I remember in particular the story of one mother who buried her whole family as they died, but was not affected herself...

    Delta-32

    AIDS and the black death: a new PBS documentary connects HIV and the plague through people like Steve Crohn, whose ancestors' immunity to the black death has made them resistant to HIV

    Few people can say with certainty that their ancestors had immunity to the black death that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages. New Yorker Steve Crohn can. What's more, the genes he inherited from those fortunate forebears may have made him largely immune to HIV.

    Featured on "Mystery of the Black Death," the October 30 episode of PBS's Secrets of the Dead series, Crohn, 55, is a deep-voiced, no-bullshit freelance editor--and a survivor from the generation of gay New Yorkers swept away by the earliest wave of AIDS in the 1980s. Crohn's lover at the time, Jerry Green, was the fifth person in the United States reported to have died from AIDS complications. All but a handful of the couple's friends also succumbed to the scourge.

    He eventually learned that he has a genetic mutation called Delta 32--a "defective" genotype that prevents his being infected by HIV-1, the most common strain of HIV. It's not a happenstance that Crohn takes lightly. "This has a spiritual meaning to me for a couple of reasons," he reflects. "I hate people saying `I feel blessed'--I think that sounds so narcissistic."

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1589/is_/ai_94079748

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    Sep 03, 2008 1:34 AM GMT
    YngHungSFSD saidIF they only developed a simple (home?) test for this gene imagine all the reckless irresponsible sex we could have...icon_twisted.gif


    I did a quick google search and found a couple companies that offer the test. It is $99 and you just send them some saliva.

    The company points out that the presence of this gene does not make you immune. It just means you are resistant to HIV. (I guessing its like the difference between water resistant and water proof)

    They also seemed to market the test more for people who are HIV positive already as the presence of the gene can slow the speed at which HIV becomes AIDS.

    The Steve Crohn mentioned in Caslon's post certainly gets around on PBS. He's shown in this clip from NOVA on the CCR5 receptor. At the end of the clip they talk about the possibility of creating an AIDS vaccine using the knowledge of this gene. The show was made in 1999. It would be interesting to know if any progress has been made on that front in the past ten years.
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    Sep 03, 2008 1:56 AM GMT
    YngHungSFSD saidIF they only developed a simple (home?) test for this gene imagine all the reckless irresponsible sex we could have...icon_twisted.gif


    yeah but there's still a slew of other STDs you can catch if you don't protect yourself.

    maybe this gene could be researched to find a cure for HIV.
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    Sep 03, 2008 2:07 AM GMT
    I saw the same PBS special as Caslon about 4 years ago in college. It was quite interesting.
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    Sep 03, 2008 2:46 AM GMT
    I watched that PBS special in Microbiology. Really informative and a nice link.

    Yes, it's true.
  • joeindallas

    Posts: 484

    Sep 03, 2008 10:04 PM GMT
    CCR Delta 32 is common in Northern European Stock Nordic and Celtic. Does not make you immume to HIV but slows or prevents the person from going and developing symtoms. Down side to CCR delta 32 is that the person is more prone to West Nile Fever
  • Fiveldsp

    Posts: 99

    Sep 04, 2008 9:35 PM GMT
    Found this article today on Yahoo and felt it was relevant to the current topic. Definitely seems like a nice breakthrough in their research

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080904/sc_nm/aids_gene_dc
  • Fiveldsp

    Posts: 99

    Sep 04, 2008 9:51 PM GMT
    Aww, you called me amazing :p heh, just kidding, but yeah, I totally agree. It's awesome how our molecular makeup continues to change and shift to adapt to the elements around us that would prey upon our weaknesses... quite simply, amazing.... Probably why I am such an enthusiast at studying sharks. They are such a perfect creature that they haven't even had to evolve over the life expectancy of their species... definitely cool!
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    Sep 21, 2008 1:47 PM GMT
    hmm maybe I can shed some more light to this subject.
    I am studying medicine here and currently we have the block about Immunology.

    In the very first lecture my professor told us that there is a small group of prostitutes of Senegalese decent in France, who are immune to the HIV virus. They get infected over and over, but their body can clean everything up.
    The have a certain HLA type which can effectively clean infected cells and kill the virus.

    Maybe if I explain how HIV works, you can understand it better.

    When a pathogen enters the body the immune respons becomes activated. First the innate immunerespons is activated and when an infection is persistent and it takes longer to clean up, the adaptive immunerespons starts to kick in. Mostly B cells and T cells are activated at this time. We also have macrophages (which are like the cleaning crew of our body). B cells produce antibodies, after they differentiate to plasma cells. Those antibodies are antigen specific and bind to a specific antigen in order to destroy it.
    T cells are the body immunohelper cells. We have primarily two T cells. One type is a killer cell and kills infected cells. This cell is activated mostly during an intracellular infection. We also have another type of T cell. This cell activates B cells in order for them to differentiate to plasma cells and produce antibodies. Other T cells can activate macrophages in order for them to destroy a pathogen which they have phagocytised.

    Macrophages phagocytise (ingest) a pathogen (like a bacteria/virus etc). After phagocytosis the macrophage has to be activated by a T cell in order te release certain products in their cytoplasm which can destroy the pathogen.

    In short we have two sorts of T cells. One is a killer, the other is a helper (activator) of other cells of the immunerespons.

    Now when it comes to HIV;
    The virus penetrates mainly T cells which are of the helper (activator) type. It can infect these cells because of a certain receptor they have. These T cells have a certain receptor to which HIV binds (a CD4 receptor). If this this receptor is present, the virus can easily infect the cell.

    Now after a cell is infected, it is targeted by other cells of our immunerespons, such as T killer cells, which then kill the infected cell.

    The virus replicates and initially the body can fight back. It produces antibodies against the virus (when antibodies are found in ones blood, this person is called seropositive. He does not have AIDS yet. It's still latent at this time). But because HIV is a higly mutative virus (it has a large antigenvariation), it can escape the immunerespons.

    The body cleans up infected cells. These are mostly CD4 T cells (the helper/activator kind). At a certain moment in time, the virus starts to show it's head again. At this point however, there are no sufficient T cells in order to effectively fight off an infection...
    This person then has Auto Immuno Deficiency Syndrome and can die of an infection which can normally be easily fought off.

    It's a bit long, but I hope you guys understand it. If not, I can explain furthermore..
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Sep 21, 2008 2:00 PM GMT
    Yes folks, I am one of those freaks of nature with natural immunity to HIV. Been positive for over ten years, and not so much as a flu-like symptom the whole time. Blessing and a curse if you ask me. I will not die of the disease nor will it ever affect my health, yet I am still a carrier so my husband and I have a lifetime of protected sex in front of us...
  • TonyD

    Posts: 168

    Sep 21, 2008 4:26 PM GMT
    Is it really $99 to get this
    CCR5-Δ32

    (CCR5 - Delta 32) test?
    Why isn't it more widely taken/known/advertised? cost?
  • OptimusMatt

    Posts: 1124

    Sep 21, 2008 4:58 PM GMT
    be aide the ccr5 cytokine is a coreceptor, which basically means that if present the HIV virus goes 'Fuck Yeah, thanks for helping dude!' and in its absence still infects using the primary cd4 receptor target. and regardless of your genotype I recommend caution. HIV mutates constantly, some strains don't use coreceptors at all (though most do cause it's more effective) which means that even if you had the mutation it might not actually make a difference.
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    Sep 30, 2008 9:30 PM GMT
    I've never heard of CCR5 but I know a study was going on that showed decendants of people who lived through the Black Plague carry a mutated gene that makes them immune to HIV & AIDS but it depends on if they carry a pair; one from their father and one from their mother. I believe it's called Delta-32 (but could be wrong) I'll look for the documentary on it and post it when I find it.
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    Oct 01, 2008 3:25 PM GMT
    TonyD saidIs it really $99 to get this
    CCR5-Δ32

    (CCR5 - Delta 32) test?
    Why isn't it more widely taken/known/advertised? cost?


    I'm betting it's not more widely taken/known/advertised for a couple reasons. One, scientists may not have reached a statistically significant decision that having a mutated CCr5 - Delta 32 perfectly correlates with non-infection. Secondly, I'm betting there could be quite a few irresponsible people that figure they can have promiscuous unprotected sex because they are immune to the virus, and consequently can still spread HIV if it's ever present in their bodies (I think they can still have HIV for a short while, it just can't penetrate their cells so it dies off after some time).
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    Oct 01, 2008 3:52 PM GMT
    bsmith781 said
    YngHungSFSD saidIF they only developed a simple (home?) test for this gene imagine all the reckless irresponsible sex we could have...icon_twisted.gif


    yeah but there's still a slew of other STDs you can catch if you don't protect yourself.

    maybe this gene could be researched to find a cure for HIV.


    Actually, it has been studied, and the drug Maraviroc, which is a CCR5 antagonist, was approved in 2007 by the FDA. It basically attaches itself to all of the CCR5 receptors on a CD4 cell so that there aren't any empty receptors for the CCR5 strain of HIV to attach to, thus preventing that strain of HIV from entering the CD4 cell.
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    Dec 04, 2008 10:14 AM GMT
    chicago_barry said
    bsmith781 said
    YngHungSFSD saidIF they only developed a simple (home?) test for this gene imagine all the reckless irresponsible sex we could have...icon_twisted.gif


    yeah but there's still a slew of other STDs you can catch if you don't protect yourself.

    maybe this gene could be researched to find a cure for HIV.


    Actually, it has been studied, and the drug Maraviroc, which is a CCR5 antagonist, was approved in 2007 by the FDA. It basically attaches itself to all of the CCR5 receptors on a CD4 cell so that there aren't any empty receptors for the CCR5 strain of HIV to attach to, thus preventing that strain of HIV from entering the CD4 cell.


    This is good news! So is this essentially the "cure" or can HIV find it's way around Maraviroc?
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    Dec 04, 2008 1:28 PM GMT
    kRakaJak saidit's a negative positive. y'all just need to just stop fucking around. no one is immune to disease. get fuckin real. being immune to the hivs is like being immune to crabs. stop making excuses for sleeping around.


    Huh? Didn't take biology in high school eh?

    Actually it makes perfect sense. Viruses enter cells through receptors, a certain 'code' built into the molecular structure of the cell wall. If the code is wrong, the virus can't get through at all (unless it can get through another entrance). Take note that cells are protected by their walls, and viruses are puny things that rely on chemical 'keys' on their tails in order to gain entrance to the much bigger cells they will then take over to manufacture more of their kind.

    It's not only true for HIV, it is true for all viral diseases, which is why there are always survivors in epidemics. However, viruses mutate rapidly, thus any immunity granted might be only fleeting as more viral strains develop that has the ability to latch unto other receptors/entrances as well. Plus immune and semi-immune people can become carriers or breeding grounds from which new strains can develop that can circumvent their immunities.

    And anyway, this is genetic. Chances are you don't have it. I agree that there is no excuse for risky promiscuity at all.
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    Mar 16, 2009 6:13 AM GMT
    chicago_barry said
    bsmith781 said
    YngHungSFSD saidIF they only developed a simple (home?) test for this gene imagine all the reckless irresponsible sex we could have...icon_twisted.gif


    yeah but there's still a slew of other STDs you can catch if you don't protect yourself.

    maybe this gene could be researched to find a cure for HIV.


    Actually, it has been studied, and the drug Maraviroc, which is a CCR5 antagonist, was approved in 2007 by the FDA. It basically attaches itself to all of the CCR5 receptors on a CD4 cell so that there aren't any empty receptors for the CCR5 strain of HIV to attach to, thus preventing that strain of HIV from entering the CD4 cell.


    The classification of drug that you are talking about is a Fusion Inhibitor, there is also a new class of drugs called Integrase Inhibitors.

    This virus is no joke... NO GLOVE, NO LOVE !!!
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    Mar 16, 2009 7:09 AM GMT
    TonyD saidIs it really $99 to get this
    CCR5-Δ32

    (CCR5 - Delta 32) test?
    Why isn't it more widely taken/known/advertised? cost?


    it's not widely used because (from everything i have seen) it requires bone marrow transplants and thats very expensive, dangerous, and painful.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 16, 2009 7:38 AM GMT
    THIS PANDEMIC BEGAN TO RAVAGE THOSE INFECTED IN THE LATE 1970's / EARLY 1980'S...

    IT HAS BECOME KNOWN BY MANY NAMES, SUCH AS:

    HTLV2, GRID, HTLV3, ARC, HIV & AIDS

    IT DISCRIMINATES AGAINST NO ONE

    IT HAS THE ABILITY TO ADAPT AND OVERCOME EVERY ATTEMPT THAT MEDICAL SCIENCE HAS DEVELOPED TO END THE DEVASTATION AS OF YET

    THE WORLDWIDE DEATH TOLL SO FAR IS

    25,000,000 TWENTY-FIVE MILLION

    SAVE YOURSELF, TAKE NO CHANCE WITH YOUR LIFE!!!