The points made by Dr. Shekdar and respondent ME are real eye openers and should be read by every policy maker everywhere. It appears we’re becoming complacent because of the advent of the cocktails of drugs that appear to control HIV and AIDS and now by preventative drugs like Truvada. and the PREP campaign. But as Dr. Shekdar points out, these medications and programs are half measures and could turn around and bite us in the end — in our ignorance of how HIV mutates and comes in many many varieties, we eventually could/will be spreading rather than controlling the disease. A cure, which will involve many strains of cells specific to the strains of the virus infecting the individual, will require a large human participatory effort to locate and match the people the appropriate stem cells. It is the kind of effort human beings, especially Americans, are great at and is doable. But it will take a major education campaign, more research, and a massive effort to locate and link people and their curative cells. Imagine donating something that your body makes normally to someone who is ill and thereby curing them of a scourge that has already killed, or made miserable, millions of people. This is an opportunity we can not ignore.
The points made in this well written piece are sadly very true. I agree that PREP has been an essential tool in the arsenal to slow the increase in HIV infections, but what is missing, as the author pointed out, is a CURE. Just as with any diseases today most can be managed, but managing and curing are completely different. Does PREP have a place at the table, clearly it does, can the world and society rely on a pill as its only form of management – the answer is no. Its naive to think that a pill taken once a day to either keep from getting HIV, or to treat HIV will be the silver bullet. The medications are like being in a holding pattern when your trying to land a plane, the concept and actual act work for a while, but at some point the plane must land to refuel, and sadly at some point as stated above the medications taken for both prevention and management will fail to work, alas the plane will fall from the sky. The only true and lasting solution for this disease is an actual cure, and from what some have seen, and from what science has provided as witness evidence of a cure is achievable. I believe that all forms of protection, management and prevention are part of the arsenal but without a cure its like putting lipstick on a pig and trying to tell me its a cow. That Trump is attempting to say “look over here” as everything he touches seems to be investigated and full of lies the thought that he would take credit for the end of AIDS is disgusting at best. The man didn’t know the difference between HIV and HPV until Bill Gates explained it to him. If you think he is going to do anything have I got a bridge to sell you.
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