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In Aid of AIDS

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  A condition called Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) was foud among some immune deficient persons, who received bone marrow transplants. Later this condition came to light among certain patients, who were immune incompetent and who were transfused with blood products, which had immune competent cells. GVHD is not very common. But when it does happen it is often fatal. There seems to be no cure for this. Only prevention. Prevention is by using irradiated blood products.
  Haemo-dialysis is a common procedure for alleviating kidney malfunction. The affected person's blood is pumped out, filtered, and put back into the patient online.
  The virus causing HIV is not very hardy and is easily deactivated once it is outside the person.
  The idea being proposed now combines the above three factors. Put an AIDS person on a dialysis type of machine, deactivate HIV by irradiating his/her blood to the currently practised doses of Gamma Irradiation, and put it back into the patient. Monitor the progression of AIDS and repeat the procedure.
  At the least this may arrrest the progression of AIDS, and significantly improve the quality of life. At best it may effect a complete cure.
  An adult has about a gallon and half of blood. With the blood irradiators currently available it should be possible to irradiate this quanity of blood to the prescribed dose of Gamma Rays in about half an hour. Since blood circulates through every nook and corner of the body, HIV lurking anywhere should get flushed into blood. The procedure is painless and can be repeated as often as haemo-dialysis, which is often done thrice a week.
  The irradiator is rather expensive. But the running costs are negligible. The procedure does not conflict with any ongoing Anti Retroviral Treatment. Many can be treated in a day.
  There is nothing out of the way in the proposal. All the procedures and equipment are known, available, and in routine use. The only new thing is the suggested application.
  Unfortunately there does not seem to be a suitable animal model for trials. The trials probably have to be done on humans only. There is one soft option. Initially blood can be drawn from an AIDS patient and irradiated offline. Deactivation of HIV can be checked. If enough data points to this primary objective being met, the irradiated blood could be transfused to the same patient and monitored for any adverse reaction. If this also passes then a full scale online trial as suggested above can be done.
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