HIV Gene Therapy — Self Experimental Protocol (N6 v2)

Tristan Roberts
3 min readMar 25, 2019


Summary: In late 2017, I tested out a gene therapy that targets HIV. The describes the protocol used for testing out a similar yet different gene vector, as well as an update following the first week.

As described in earlier articles, this 2nd version is designed to deliver the gene for N6, an antibody that binds to HIV’s GP120 protein. This 2nd version (N6 v2) has the bacterial elements removed from the plasmid, creating a ‘mini circle’ that may last for months if not years in one’s body.

We expect to have data from this experiment in May.

Safety: One of my regrets from the first test was that I did not wait longer in between the ‘test’ dose, and the ‘real’ dose — only about an hour between injections. This time, I waited a number of days, giving me greater confidence that my body was not going to flip its shit when it received the full injection.

Test dose: March 10th, 2019. 700 nanograms of plasmid (with PEI and saline). A small red bump materialized that was similar to the 2017 injection. No other symptoms seemed to occur.

Full dose: March 16th, 2019. 10 micrograms + 40 micrograms PEI +11 microliters saline.

Dependent Variable: Binding to GP120 in blood serum. In other words: is my blood blocking HIV more after the injection? I will be gathering samples at least once a week, and for those of you who haven’t drawn their own blood, this is not a particularly fun or easy process.

After two months of data collection, we will send the samples to a third party to quantify the results. Success would mean that the expression of the antibody is sustained after the initial plateau is reached.

What is below in this article was removed for a while as we sought to figure out what caused the inflammation. We’ve ruled out endotoxin, but a number of other possible explanations are available in this article:

Injection: Was noticeably more painful this go around. I could feel a burn as the compound was injected. A level of pain similar to a bee sting was sustained for around 36 hours. This is a bit alarming, since the quantity of PEI was similar between this and the 2017 injection. PEI helps open up the cells pores, but also kills cells in certain concentrations.

Inflammation around the injection area increased in the following 48 hours.

~48 hours post injection. Injection site is right below the belly button. There’s a clear bandage over the area, giving that weird sheen.

I started developing a slight fever around this time. While I’m guessing the injection was partially to blame, I think I already had a throat infection developing from sharing perhaps a few too many spliffs in the days leading up to the injection.

The inflammation shown above was further aggregated, I believe, by a long road trip in which the area was chronically squished from the sitting position.

I started to feel shitty around this time. Besides a continuous flow of snot, bowel movements increased from around once a day to around thrice.

Six days after injection.

Stomach illness culminated a week post injection with some vomiting. The following day, however, symptoms abated.



Tristan Roberts

Citizen scientist & decentralization enthusiast.