Could HHV-6 Be Preventing the Spread of HIV?

Every human body plays host to a wide range of virus and bacteria. Some of them cause illness while others will simply exist in peaceful harmony with the individual and never cause any problems. One of those viruses that does not appear to cause any problems in the infected adult and only a mild rash in infected infants is the human herpes virus 6 or HHV-6. Laboratory cultures have shown evidence that this particular strain of the herpes virus could have an inhibitory effect on the virus which causes HIV, specifically in the early stages of the disease.

HIV in both early and late stages of the disease make use of a receptor complex to bind themselves to target cells and thus to invade the cell to reproduce. The virus usually binds to a receptor known as CD4 on the CD4+ T cell in the human immune system. The earlier form of the virus which dominates the viral load at the earliest stages of infection, before the latent phase, make use of a molecule known as CCR5. These viral cells are later replaced with forms of the virus which bind to a receptor molecule known as CXCR4. For more information on hiv insurance, go to

In a test involving human tonsil tissue which had been infected with both HIV-1, the early form of the virus which binds with the CCR5 receptor, as well as HHV-6 found that the HIV was not able to bind as effectively to the CCR5. It appears as though the HHV-6 virus prevents the HIV virus from accessing the CCR5 receptor by producing a molecule known as RANTES which appears to block the CCR5 receptors and thus prevents the HIV from bonding with the cell and thus interrupts the first process in a string of processes critical to the reproduction of the virus. The conclusion that was come to as a result of this study was that HHV-6 may be an integral part in suppressing the reproduction of the HIV virus and thus may assist in preventing the initial infection from progressing into a full blown HIV infection.

Further research is being done into the manipulation of HHV-6 to treat HIV. It is risky at this point to attempt any actual live use of HHV-6 to slow the spread of HIV infection in the individual. It is possible that attempting to treat HHV-6 may slow the progression of HIV and prevent the CXCR4 variant, however it is also possible that an active HHV-6 infection may prevent or slow the early spread of the HIV virus.

Other microorganisms which have an effect on the spread and reproduction of HIV have also been identified though it is uncertain whether it is the microorganism itself or whether the presence of the microorganism is indicative of other factors which affect the reproduction and spread of HIV. A great deal of further research is required in this field before and concrete conclusions can be draw. It is hoped that this form of research will lead to improved treatment techniques for HIV.


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