A project of the New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center. Partially funded by the National Library of Medicine
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Fact Sheet Number 725
WHAT IS DNCB?
chemical used in color photography
DNCB is a “contact
sensitizer”, which means that it causes
an itchy red rash similar to poison oak
or poison ivy. Some health care
providers have used DNCB to measure
the strength of the immune system: the
greater the skin reaction to DNCB, and
the faster it shows up, the stronger the
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF
Some researchers and community
activists proposed that when DNCB is
applied to the skin once a week, it
immune system to
control HIV replication and delay
research shows that DNCB leads to
increases in CD8 (T-killer or T-8) cells.
These cells are an important part of the
There is almost no good research on
DNCB. Some studies suggest that
DNCB decreases the number of CD4
(T-helper or T4) cells. However, a
recent study did show some reduction
of viral load.
WHY DID PEOPLE WITH HIV
Research on DNCB shows that it
stimulates the immune system. It has
been used to treat skin lesions caused
by Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS).
Advocates of DNCB claimed that it
could clear up all symptoms of HIV
pneumonia (PCP). DNCB’s supporters
claimed that antiretroviral drugs (ARVs)
were bad for the immune system.
Despite dropping death rates from AIDS
and many research reports,
argued that ARVs did not lead to longer
life or a better quality of life for people
with HIV disease. They used civil
disobedience to promote their point of
view that AIDS medications are poison
and should not be used.
A small group of activists formerly
known as DNCB Now! wa