Donor 45: The weird world of AIDS "non-progressors"

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26 Responses to “Donor 45: The weird world of AIDS "non-progressors"”

  1. dculberson says:

    @Donor45 James Delmore Shapely, is that you?

    • John Greg says:

      I am climbing on the “Me too!” train. First thing I thought of.

    • kromekoran says:

      that’s exactly the first thing I thought about.

    • Anonymous says:

      @dculberson, Exactly who I was thinking about. Now where did I put my mirror-shades.

    • Anonymous says:

      How is it that William Gibson is so awesome? I’m going to go reread Virtual Light right now.

    • seen2much says:

      IIRC, wasn’t Shapely killed because somebody thought that AIDS shouldn’t be cured. Probably best to keep this person anonymous, considering all the “God hates Fags” idiots out there. Sad that there are people who would wish a slow painful death such as AIDS can cause, just because they do not agree with their sexual identity. Not mention anybody else who gets AIDS. But to a lot of haters, AIDS = Gay.

      • Hanglyman says:

        Those haters include blood banks, at least where I live. If you’re male and have had sex with another man even once in your entire life, you’re not allowed to donate blood because you’re supposedly an AIDS risk.

        • S2 says:

          OTOH there’s folks like my wife, who died from Hep-C 20 years after receiving tainted transfusions during a difficult birthing. Even with today’s testing (AHCV, RIBA, etc.) and decades of screening experience there’s still a small chance of Hep-C hiding in a transfusion. For her survivors, there’s no such thing as too much caution in blood supply screening. While some may hate, I think the guidelines are more about caution. (Visiting the UK is hardly a hot-button moral issue, but weighed against the risk of CJD…)

          @seen2much: “Shapely’s murder, some said sacrifice, had taken place in Salt Lake City. His seven killers, heavily armed fundamentalists, members of a white racist sect…had remained silent during the trial, their leader stating only that the disease was God’s vengeance on sinners and the unclean.”

  2. failix says:

    This sounds like the happy ending of a bad zombie movie… awesome!

  3. Anonymous says:

    typo – 45/46?

  4. Anonymous says:

    i’m very excited about the research being put into this, but i do want to say that there are tens of thousands of seropositive people living normal and healthy lives right now. with the current level of HIV treatment, we’re looking at an indefinitely long lifespan. in fact, geriatric issues are coming into play now that the HIV population is aging and doing it healthily.

    it’s still an epidemic that needs much more attention, but it’s not the death sentence or exile into sickness that it once was

  5. jenjen says:

    Here’s hoping that unlike Henrietta Lacks, this guy gets the chance to reap some of the benefit of what his body does for science.

  6. Xenu says:

    Doesn’t that also mean these folks can spread HIV?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Doesn’t that also mean these folks can spread HIV?

      In contrast to the millions of other people who have it and can also transmit it?

  7. nanuq says:

    Except that he isn’t completely resistant. The nightmarish thing about HIV is that it mutates continuously. Here’s hoping that it doesn’t win in the end.

  8. Padura says:

    Never knew such people exist.

    • ironix says:

      I am one of those people. I have been HIV+ for 14 years now, I’ve never had to take any medication nor have I ever gotten sick.

      My doctor says there’s a larger than normal percentage of Scandinavians who share this attribute.

  9. bbbaldie says:

    Amazing. fascinating, hopeful stuff, but did anyone else think “Typhoid Mary?”

  10. Daneel says:

    Maybe he’s related to Cissy Ntombe?

  11. bbonyx says:

    Does this mean Magic Johnson is a non-progressor? Seems like he was diagnosed as being HIV-positive an eon ago but still seems to be living a normal, healthy life.

    A quick google answered my own question. Guess so.

  12. harpdevil says:

    Evolution in action!

    • Gutierrez says:

      Except for the fact his genes most likely won’t get passed on unless they can remove the viral load from donated sperm without damage to the cells.

      Can they?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Even more interesting: Because bubonic plague and HIV use the same protein “keys” to infect, Black Death survivors passed on the gene deletion and resistance to HIV. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCR5

  14. jornin says:

    ERV at ScienceBlogs had something about this last week, it may not be as promising as it sounds.

    http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2010/07/super_awesome_hiv_antibodies_i.php

  15. Anonymous says:

    I work at a non-profit HIV clinic and we have a client who is a non-progressor. Been positive since 1989, still has a viral load below 500 copies/mil. (when people first get infected or start to develop AIDS, they often have viral loads in the millions). He has been participating in research for the past 10 years, and i always hoped that the science could channel these anomalies into something resembling an effective treatment.

    However: every vaccine-related breakthrough that has gone to a clinical trial in humans, that i can remember, has resulted in making individuals MORE susceptible to the HIV virus. I would love to see a breakthrough, but we have been disappointed many times before…

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