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Gene therapy said to increase white blood cells in HIV patients

Category: HIV monitoring/Treatment/Testing/Post Diagnos

The immune systems of a group of individuals who had received positive results from a STD test for HIV were significantly enhanced by gene therapy, according to an article from MedPage Today. The news source got this information from scientists presenting at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Researchers from the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Port St. Lucie, Florida hope these preliminary findings on inducing the production of more white blood, or T cells, in HIV patients could lead to an ability to bring their immune systems back to normal someday.

However, after examining the Institute's data, Douglas Ward, MD, of the Washington state-based Dupont Circle Physician's Group told MedPage Today that "the concept that you can improve the immune response in HIV" shows promise, although he questions the significance of this particular study.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that by the end of 2008, more than 1 million U.S. residents over the age of 13 had gotten a positive result from an STD test for HIV. The agency also says that about 50,000 new cases of HIV are reported in the U.S. every year.

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