The Doctors: Julie Bowen’s Sister Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer
The Doctors invited the sister of Modern Family star Julie Bowen on the show today to talk about her work with HIV research.
Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer is a Harvard graduate who works as an infectious disease doctor and specialises in HIV.
Growing Up with Julie Bowen
The Doctors wanted to know what it was like growing up with Julie Bowen and Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer told them it was a lot of drama. She said her oldest sister, not Julie, was the most dramatic of the three so they were always keeping their parents on their toes.
“We kept the house busy all the time,” said Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer.
Julie Bowen Nickname – Dr. Google
Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer said her sister is calling her all the time asking for medical advice but she never listens. Whenever she calls to find out if one of children has strep throat, Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer said she will go over the symptoms and then she will hear Julie typing away on the computer, trying to refute everything she tells her. Because she is always challenging what her doctor sister has to say, Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer said they recently bought her a medical coat that reads Dr. Google.
What is HIV?
The Doctors brought Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer on the show to talk about HIV so they began the conversation explaining what HIV is.
Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer explained that HIV is a virus that usually spread through blood or sexual contact with an HIV positive person. When the virus gets into the bloodstream it begins infecting white blood cells, essentially wreaking havoc on the immune system. They means the person can not fight off infection causing opportunistic infections, meaning they are more vulnerable to catching the bugs we all come into contact with every day.
14 French Patients Cured of HIV
There is hope for HIV patients though. Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer said 14 patients in France were functionally cured of HIV after being infected with the virus. Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer said experts believe the reason they were cured is because doctors began treating the HIV within six months of the people being infected.
What does functionally cured mean? Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer explained that a person functionally cured of HIV still has bits of HIV in their body but the virus no longer reproduces and there is no need to take any type of medication because the virus doesn’t come back. For a majority of the people with HIV, the minute they stop taking medications, the virus starts to grow back.
Mississippi Girl Cured of HIV
The Doctors pointed out there was a case in Mississippi were a newborn girl was cured of HIV when the doctors began treating her within 30 hours of being born. When they stopped the treatments, the HIV was gone and it did not come back.
Bee Venom Shown to Kill HIV
Dr. Google, Julie Bowen, called into the show and said she saw something about bee venom killing HIV and Dr. Annie Luetkemeyer said she was right. Studies have shown a certain type of bee venom can kill HIV without killing the white blood cells.
She also pointed out there is a topical gel that reduces the risk of infection by 50 percent and a new FDA approved pill just hit the shelves and it is used by people who have a high risk of getting HIV to prevent them from getting it.