AIDS patient Jeff Getty relaxed in his Oakland home Thursday, three weeks after he was infused with baboon cells as a last-ditch effort to treat his disease.
Getty's San Francisco General Hospital physician, Dr. Steven Deeks, discharged the 38-year-old after three weeks of in-house observation, saying that he "is doing well." However, he said it was too early to tell if the procedure would help fight Getty's disease.
In a news conference Thursday in San Francisco, Getty, a prominent AIDS activist, said he was feeling much better than he had expected and had suffered no deleterious side effects from the controversial procedure.
His CD4 cell count--a measure of the vitality of his immune system--is 30. Although that is dangerously below the 800 to 1,200 level considered healthy, it is good for Getty. That's because Getty's count going into the procedure Dec. 14 was 30.
Lab tests so far show no sign that any baboon viruses have infected Getty's body as a result of the infusion of millions of baboon bone marrow cells, Deeks said.
Still, the San Francisco doctors are not yet ready to declare the procedure safe. Deeks said at least two weeks of further observation is necessary before that's possible.