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  • 11 years ago
An HIV "Elite Controller" Shares Her Story: Loreen Willenberg

An HIV "Elite Controller" Shares Her Story: Loreen Willenberg

Imagine living with HIV for 15 years and maintaining an undetectable viral load and a CD4 count around 2,000 -- without ever taking a single HIV med. Few people are part of this very small (and very fortunate) group of HIVers -- but Loreen Willenberg is one of them. What makes her so special? Doctors aren't quite sure, but if they can figure it out, it could forever change the way we fight HIV. Loreen participates in several studies in which researchers are trying to understand what makes these so-called "elite controllers" tick. "I don't have to participate, but you know what? It's necessary," she says. "It's a personal purpose. If there's any way I can help, I'm all about that." In this intimate interview with The Body (both a podcast and a full transcript are available), Loreen tells the story of her life as a "partially positive" HIV advocate.