July 9, 2008

July 9, 2008
It's great having you join me again today for another look into my life as a long term survivor of HIV and AIDS. I hope you are having a great day.

I was up most of the night with nausea and vomiting. I have had the nausea and vomiting for two days now and woke up the same way this morning. Luckily I go back to the doctor tomorrow and will be able to discuss this with him. It feels like someone is kicking me in the stomach almost twenty four hours a day. The downside besides the pain is how this will affect my HIV wasting. I have a hard enough time keeping weight on when I can eat. When I am feeling like this and can't keep solid food down, it can send my weight spiraling downwards and put me in danger since I am still trying to put on weight that I lost a couple of months ago when I was sick. Whether the current symptoms are from taking my HIV medications or something else, I won't know until after my doctor visit and any tests he decides to run are completed. Hopefully the problem with be something easy to fix or will fix itself very soon.

Well enough of that delightful talk. But I would like to keep the topic on HIV. As I mentioned yesterday, HIV researchers in 2001 discovered an anomaly in some people with HIV and AIDS. It is a genetic marker called CCR5Delta32. CCR5Delta32 is a loss-of-function mutation that abolishes cell surface expression of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-receptor CCR5 and provides genetic resistance to HIV infection and disease progression. Since CXCR4 and other HIV co-receptors also exist, we hypothesized that CCR5Delta32-mediated resistance may be due not only to the loss of CCR5 function but also to a gain of function mechanism, specifically the active inhibition of alternative co-receptors by the mutant CCR5Delta32 protein. Here we demonstrate that efficient expression of the CCR5Delta32 protein in primary CD4(+) cells by use of a recombinant adenovirus (Ad5/Delta32) was able to down-regulate surface expression of both wild-type CCR5 and CXCR4 and to confer broad resistance to R5, R5X4, and X4 HIV type 1 (HIV-1). This may be important clinically, since researchers found that CD4(+) cells purified from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of individuals who were homozygous for CCR5Delta32, which expressed the mutant protein endogenously, consistently expressed lower levels of CXCR4 and showed less susceptibility to X4 HIV-1 isolates than cells from individuals lacking the mutation. Moreover, CD4(+) cells from individuals who were homozygous for CCR5Delta32 expressed the mutant protein in five of five HIV-exposed, uninfected donors tested but not in either of two HIV-infected donors tested. The mechanism of inhibition may involve direct scavenging, since we were able to observe a direct interaction of CCR5 and CXCR4 with CCR5Delta32, both by genetic criteria using the yeast two-hybrid system and by biochemical criteria using the coimmunoprecipitation of heterodimers. Thus, these results suggest that at least two distinct mechanisms may account for genetic resistance to HIV conferred by CCR5Delta32: the loss of wild-type CCR5 surface expression and the generation of CCR5Delta32 protein, which functions as a scavenger of both CCR5 and CXCR4.

Now in people already infected with HIV, CCR5Delta32 can enable the body not only fight the replication of and complication due to the HIV virus resulting in a longer healthier quality of life in most cases but also to recover from infections including opportunistic infections from the results on the immune system from HIV and AIDS. Thus the higher the t-cell count, the more likely you are to recover from an infections regardless if it is opportunistic or not. For more information, you can google CCR5Delta32 for more of answers to your questions. You should also discuss this with your health care provider because this information can held the provider in deciding your course of action in fighting your HIV infection.

I spent most of the day in bed with my pets. My stomach was cramping so bad it hurt to sit up. Needless to say I was not eating any solid food. So it is up to the doctor tomorrow to find out what is causing this. But it was nice to nap most of the day and enjoy it with my pets. There was a meeting of my support group this evening. I told Gary to let Heather know I would not be able to make it since he is still going to go to the meeting. Heather knows what has been going on so I am sure it won't be a surprise to her. I will look forward to seeing everyone when we meet again in a couple of weeks.

When Gary got home after getting a ride from a friend in group, he told me everyone had asked where I was and how I was doing. We have a great group of guys and more than half of them are long term survivors so they understand having a bad week. Heather and I need to plan an outing for the group soon since we haven't done one since March. Maybe we can get the funding to do a trip in October but it will need to be close by due to the cost of gasoline now. Orlando or Daytona Beach would be a fun trip and we have access to some condos in both locations for a fee.

Gary and I watched So You Think You Can Dance tonight before bedtime. I am already starting to have a favorite in the contest but I am not sure how far she will get in the competition. She has great personality and is a very good dancer. But she isn't the best dancer on the show so I doubt she will win. There were several great routines done during the course of the show. We are still in the early part of the season with several weeks left to go so it is still anyone's game. There are several of the dancers that stick out and will probably end up in the top 4.

I am going to bed soon but wanted to finish this blog first. I hope you are having a great week so far. Remember to shoot for the stars and believe in yourself.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab