[VJ] If only America was compassionate

edited August 2001 in General Discussion

Comments

  • edited December 1969
    I tell ya - after reading this and knowing people suffering from various diseases, the profit making of the pharmaceutical industry and the many shareholders(Can you say "Congress?") off of perpetuating suffering and sickness is disturbing and should make many more people angrier than they are about this.

    I guess sick and dying people in America need to look to other countries to save their lives, while their local politicians profit off their deaths.

    F*cking bizarre.

    GO BRAZIL!

    Brazil to Strip Patent on AIDS Drug
    http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010823/wl/brazil_aids_drugs.html

    "Brazil, which has the highest number of AIDS victims in Latin America, distributes a``cocktail'' of anti-AIDS drugs free to anyone who needs it. Last year, some 90,000 people received the drugs that would have cost each of them up to $15,000.

    Thanks largely to the drug handout, in just four years the number of AIDS deaths in Brazil has fallen from 11,024 to 4,136. The program has been hailed by doctors as a model for other developing countries, where few can afford expensive treatment."


  • edited December 1969
    [b]Some notes[/b]

    Since pulling these kinds of 'facts' out of thin air always irritates me, some background material on Brazil's remodeling of their health care system:

    http://www.idrc.ca/books/focus/923/s2c04.htm

    http://www.who.int/infwha52/to_our_health/brazil.html

    http://www.aborto.com/saude-1.htm

    Brazil's currently implemented (Or in the process of full implementation) model of health care is built on the back of extreme past mistreatment and lack of care, and partly subsidized by international concerns. As the above reveal, it's clearly an improvement over their past and a good model of nationalized health care. However, the really important thing to realize about their situation is that this change is part of a much larger and more comprehensive reform. Government in Brazil has, as a whole, been remodeling away from the more extreme vacillations they have experienced in the past hundred years and towards stability. This is a good thing for Brazil, but this has *absolutely no bearing* on the embedded and well entrenched health care situation here in the US.

    Our health care situation in the US is a huge mess, but on the whole it works. If our positively ancient, chaotic, and powerfully resistant to change governement were to take over the system they would, in short order, utterly ruin and demolish it in the process of charging us more for it. Even the half *ssed and backwards pay-through type plans put forward a few years ago would've, IMHO, resulted in an even more drastic mess than we're in. Brazil's solution works because they're a nation in the midst of socialist reform and their people didn't just want a more effecient system, they *needed* a system that would work at all and were willing to tolerate a few gaps in the mean time.

    Anyway, just a few bits more on the subject from a practical perspective. What Brazil is doing is great for them and works for them quite well at this time. It would never work in the US.

    Ramses II
  • edited December 1969
    Errr

    I tell ya - after reading this and knowing people suffering from
    various diseases, the profit making of the pharmaceutical
    industry and the many shareholders(Can you say
    "Congress?") off of perpetuating suffering and
    sickness is disturbing and should make many more people angrier
    than they are about this.

    Did the pharmaceutical companies develop HIV? Do they have an instant cure or vaccine that I haven't heard about, and they are refusing to sell to anyone? Then how exactly are they perpetuating suffering and sickness? And would you rather they DIDN'T try to make money off of sick people, and instead didn't develop medications?

    Yeah, they make more money off of it than they need to in order to pay R&D costs, but why shouldn't they? Why is doing something incredibly important (helping sick people) mean that you shouldn't be rewarded for your work, and doing something useless (hitting a baseball far), or something only mildly useful (writing software) something that you should be rewarded for?

    I feel for the victims of AIDS, and I'm not saying that Brazil is in the wrong for doing what they've done. It's an extremely complex issue. I just think that things aren't as one-sided as you seem to be suggesting.

    - Kodiak
  • edited December 1969
    It's a balance

    Did the pharmaceutical companies develop HIV? Do they have an
    instant cure or vaccine that I haven't heard about, and they are
    refusing to sell to anyone? Then how exactly are they
    perpetuating suffering and sickness? And would you rather they
    DIDN'T try to make money off of sick people, and instead didn't
    develop medications?

    Making money off sick people is the basis of a lot of the pharmaceutical business, the rest if making money off keeping them from getting sick. I have no problem with them doing this. The problem I have is that there is a distinct appearance that in some cases the Pharma are doing a balancing act of trying to maximize profits on drugs that prevent death. That means that in some office a statistician or accountant is calculating how many people will be able to afford the drug at a given price and therefore how to maximize their profits. Totally typical business practice unless you realize that when they say "Increasing the price 10% more only drops the number of purchasers 8%, increasing our total profits, therefore it's prudent to do so" what they are not saying is that that 8% removed from their calculation DIE !!!.

    Yes, they need to pay massive R&D bills. I'm very aware of this as I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry all my adult life in one way or another.

    Yes, it is a complex issue.

    The problem I have is that there is is fairly significant evidence that some companies are making decisions that trade death rates not against corporate survival, but against higher profit margins and get up in front of the public and lie about their accounting to cover it up.

  • edited December 1969
    Re: Some notes

    Wheather or not you like the UK's socialist approach to health care, before WWII it was actually quite a bit like ours. The near total distruction of their infrastructure during that conflict allowed them to more or less restart from scratch. (this info from a friend of mine there, so a grain of salt)

    The beauties and horrors of a capitalist society scare the hell out of me. And as I get older I understand things from a different perspective and in many cases I don't like the conclusions I come to. For example.. the reason we keep immigrants from piling into this great free country is simple. We Stole It First. *shrug* It's the same reason every other country on the planet is the way it is too, so we shouldn't feel too horrible about it.

    There is a difference though when it comes to How Things Are and How You Act. I think the moral difference happens when the Few are held above the Many. Not many people would argue that the storming of Normandy beach was a selfish act. Thousands died, and a few men had to make that very tough decision. From that sacrifice a new world was born. Contrast that with a Pharm's decision to raise a price as SJ points out, and Many people die for a Few's profit. the movie Brain Candy has a nice take on this industry as well.

    There is no easy solution, but I would say that a fatalistic approach is never a good one. Assuming that the US will never change is absurd. Difficult, yes, but look at the changes in our country in just 40 years. Bringing issues like this to light is the only way we can influence our future in a complex system. When people realize there IS a better way out there, they will demand it.. being the happy little consumers they are.

    -Santa

    I'm just lucky to be involved in an industry that is responsible for the relativley few deaths at a few white schools.


  • edited December 1969
    Re: If only America was compassionate

    The problem is, if every country decided to do this, then the whole system would collapse. The only drugs being developed would be by government funded programs. If companies can't make money by researching new drugs, then they will simply stop trying. Then how many people will die?

    -Cauldyth

  • edited December 1969
    Well...

    I've noted and explained my moral opposition to such nonsense more than enough, so I'll leave the moral angle of your post alone but for one comment:

    It should never be the goal of any government to place any one group above or below any other.

    However, my point above is simpler, our government is functionally and demonstrably incompetent to take on a task such as you propose. Until their popular reform the government of Brazil was similarly incompetent, and it is only through international aid that they can currently finance this new and relatively untested program. The quantity of difference between our government and the government of Brazil cannot be underscored enough, not to mention the tolerance of the people for abuse of authority. Brazil still faces a massive scale of corruption and power abuse at the local level, and crime rates in the poor sections of their cities varies between intolerable and inhumane. They've started a nice nationalized health care program, but the test of time is both it's survival and it's impact on national health. How does it even function to distribute AIDS drugs to indigenous peoples (Speaking of 'stolen' land), among whom the disease runs rampant through ignorance? No source speaks to this, yet Native Americans have generally good access to medical care in the US.

    Socialism is no instant panacea for the ills of society, though it does often provide the gloss of do gooding without all the cost of real work.

    More to the point, the proof is in the pudding. US companies almost exclusively (Perhaps that's a stretch, let's just say 'in large part') research, test, manufacture, and ship those drugs Brazil is giving away. P'raps you could change all that if you put your time in founding a Brazilian drug company? Indeed, isn't it your duty to try to save those lives every bit as much as it is Glaxo's CEO?

    Anyway, I'm getting moralistic again, so I'll close with:

    It's easy to sob and rail about the millions dying and suffering around the world, it's *hard* to do something about it. Those drug companies you appear to despise, while under your definition have not done all they could, have done several thousand times more than you are even capable of. Think about that carefully before the next time you want to rip into them.

    Ramses II
  • edited December 1969
    Scary

    Ramses and I actually agree about something.

    Next thing you know I'll give up on my Mac zealotry and buy a PC.

    Now all I need to do is start liking Ayn Rand and I'll officially be unrecognizable to my family.

    - Kodiak


  • edited December 1969
    [b]Re: Well...[/b]

    [quote]
    It should never be the goal of any government to place any one
    group above or below any other.

    [/quote]
    I assume you don't mean that a government should not prefer its own citizens over others -- which would be absurd, in my view -- but instead that a government should not prefer one segment of its citizenry to another. In that case, I agree that it should not be a government goal to advantage one subset of its populace to the disadvantage of another -- but the practical effect of government's proper goals is likely to involve the creation of some disparities. The key, in my opinion, is where and how the lines of differentiation are drawn. For instance, it might be totally unacceptable for the government to implement policies that treat people differently on account of religion, but it may be acceptable for the government to implement policies that treat people differently on account of participation in the work force.

    [quote]
    Socialism is no instant panacea for the ills of society, though
    it does often provide the gloss of do gooding without all the
    cost of real work.

    [/quote]
    Socialism may not be an instant panacea, but there is no instant panacea. But I'm not sure I understand your last point. How does socialism provide a "gloss of do gooding," and since when does socialism not require "real work"?

    [quote]
    It's easy to sob and rail about the millions dying and suffering
    around the world, it's *hard* to do something about it. Those
    drug companies you appear to despise, while under your
    definition have not done all they could, have done several
    thousand times more than you are even capable of. Think about
    that carefully before the next time you want to rip into them.

    [/quote]
    I generally agree with your conclusion, though I'm not quite in line with your approach. Yes, American pharma companies invest huge amounts of money, time and resources in developing therapies for very ill people, and they deserve a fair return on that investment. Whether any single person is capable of a fraction of that development or not is irrelevant; the question of what constitutes a fair return is open to debate, and Big Pharma in the U.S. has engaged in some tactics to maximize that return -- seeking to extend patents on drugs to keep less-expensive generics out of the marketplace, for instance, or seeking patent protection for natural botanical extracts -- that are certainly open to question.

    But your point also raises another quesion: When it comes to the health and well-being of the general populace, does one who has greater capacity to help also have a greater responsibility to help? From a pure free-market approach, the answer is no -- the greatest good is to maximize profit/return on investment. But I think people have a sense that a pure free-market approach is not as appropriate in the health care arena as it might be in the case of "widgets" like cars or computer games. (Leaving aside the effect of patent laws on the pure free-market approach.)

    So it is perfectly understandable, and should not be a cause for derision, that some people might think Big Pharma and its allies in the U.S. government ought to take a different approach to making treatments and therapies more widely available.
  • edited December 1969
    I disagree

    I assume you don't mean that a government should not prefer its
    own citizens over others -- which would be absurd, in my view --
    but instead that a government should not prefer one segment of
    its citizenry to another. In that case, I agree that it should
    not be a government goal to advantage one subset of its
    populace to the disadvantage of another -- but the practical
    effect of government's proper goals is likely to involve the
    creation of some disparities. The key, in my opinion, is where
    and how the lines of differentiation are drawn. For instance, it
    might be totally unacceptable for the government to implement
    policies that treat people differently on account of religion,
    but it may be acceptable for the government to implement
    policies that treat people differently on account of
    participation in the work force.

    I left this issue open to interpretation, but I believe that it should not only not be a goal, but should not be possible for a government to favor, in effect or word, any group. This could lead back to moral issues, but on a practical level it again just points back to utter incompetentcy. All government attempts to function in this area invariably lead to abuse and absurdity and eventually to redress in the other direction. How many times do we have to repeat our mistakes before we learn?

    Socialism may not be an instant panacea, but there is no instant
    panacea. But I'm not sure I understand your last point. How does
    socialism provide a "gloss of do gooding," and since
    when does socialism not require "real work"?

    Indeed, there is no panacea at all. Socialism provides that gloss as illustrated in this very series of posts. What originated this discussion? An unequivocal claim that Brazil was more 'compassionate' than the US. How much more gloss in the absence of effort do you need to see? It is not the fact of all socialism that it requires no real work, only the fact of casual socialists on the 'net who merrily complain and b*tch before piling back into their gas guzzling SUV to drive down to McDonald's and stuff their faces. It has been my experience on the 'net that American socialists are the single most whiney and ineffectual political group in existence. Always willing to tell a company or program what they should be doing, never willing to attempt to get it done.

    Frankly that's what inspires my distaste for the movement. You think healthcare in the US sucks? What have you done to change it lately?

    I generally agree with your conclusion, though I'm not quite in
    line with your approach. Yes, American pharma companies invest
    huge amounts of money, time and resources in developing
    therapies for very ill people, and they deserve a fair return on
    that investment. Whether any single person is capable of a
    fraction of that development or not is irrelevant; the question
    of what constitutes a fair return is open to debate, and Big
    Pharma in the U.S. has engaged in some tactics to maximize that
    return -- seeking to extend patents on drugs to keep
    less-expensive generics out of the marketplace, for instance, or
    seeking patent protection for natural botanical extracts -- that
    are certainly open to question.

    Not only a fair return, but fair credit for what is ultimately extremely beneficial and positive work. To say that they have no compassion because, in brief, they are successful is simply disgusting. After all, we aren't attacking a specific company or business practice here, nor any specific workers or issues, we're blanket assaulting an entire industry as incapable of compassion and gouging. I think that's a contemptable stance for a casual socialist to take.

    There are substantial problems with our health care system in the US, but the problems are neither due to nor going to be fixed by a derth or sudden influx of compassion.

    But your point also raises another quesion: When it comes to the
    health and well-being of the general populace, does one who has
    greater capacity to help also have a greater responsibility to
    help? From a pure free-market approach, the answer is no -- the
    greatest good is to maximize profit/return on investment. But I
    think people have a sense that a pure free-market approach is
    not as appropriate in the health care arena as it might be in
    the case of "widgets" like cars or computer games.
    (Leaving aside the effect of patent laws on the pure free-market
    approach.)

    My answer to your first question is a resounding no. Ability in no event creates obligation. That 'sense' most people have is simply the result of being extremely wealthy, they can't imagine there ever being less than enough to go around. Ask *them* to pay for it, in sweat, cash, or blood, and that 'sense' will vanish faster than corporate charity without tax deductions. In either case, rule by the senses of the people is clearly a numbingly foolish idea, and yet it is what you've chosen to support this argument with. Why?

    So it is perfectly understandable, and should not be a cause for
    derision, that some people might think Big Pharma and its allies
    in the U.S. government ought to take a different approach to
    making treatments and therapies more widely available.

    I disagree with your summary of what's transpired in these posts. :-)

    Naturally I do believe that there are better means to handle health care and government than the current though.

    Ramses II
  • edited December 1969
    Re: I disagree

    Frankly that's what inspires my distaste for the movement. You
    think healthcare in the US sucks? What have you done to change
    it lately?

    Reductio ad absurdum: Have an opinion about something over which you have no power to effect change? Shut your trap.

    I disagree with your summary of what's transpired in these
    posts. :-)

    I agree. There's been a lot of attack and not a lot of substance, if you ask me.

    "clearly a numbingly foolish idea"
    "to say ... is simply disgusting"
    "points back to utter incompetentcy"

    Remember my mantra ... shoot all extremists.

    _/ C


  • edited December 1969
    Howard Roark Laughed (nt)



    Bungie Sightings
  • edited December 1969
    Re: I disagree

    What
    originated this discussion? An unequivocal claim that Brazil was
    more 'compassionate' than the US. How much more gloss in the
    absence of effort do you need to see? It is not the fact of all
    socialism that it requires no real work, only the fact of casual
    socialists on the 'net who merrily complain and b*tch before
    piling back into their gas guzzling SUV to drive down to
    McDonald's and stuff their faces. It has been my experience on
    the 'net that American socialists are the single most whiney
    and

    ineffectual political group in existence. Always willing to tell
    a company or program what they should be doing, never willing to
    attempt to get it done.
    Frankly that's what inspires my distaste for the movement. You
    think healthcare in the US sucks? What have you done to change
    it lately?

    Well - since you seem to be directing this toward me, I for one have done alot in my life to try to cause change-(including the healthcare system) on many levels and continue to do more.

    Because someone has an opinion on the way a different country handles an epidemic, they are casually tossed into your narrow stereotype of " those who merrily complain and b*tch before piling back into their gas guzzling SUV to drive down to McDonald's and stuff their faces." Sorry I don't do either.

    I know things aren't as simple as "hey you millions, here is a tax refund of $300, which you weren't expecting...but wait a second we are only gonna send you $295 and $5 will go towards drugs for those who cannot afford the overinflated market prices companies charge because of backdoor patent legislation"...I can only dream and be some simple idiot socialist who thinks some compassion will do some good.

    My charge is that when forced with a national health care crisis, Brazil has been more compassionate in their response.

    Also I never said healthcare in the US sucks I said it's bizarre how an industry within it operates.

    In the US - it is cheaper by 90% in some cases to purchase the same drugs from mexico, canada, or Europe...ridiculous.

    That pharm companies generally charge the same $ for the same number of pills at twice the dose is also ridiculous, pill-halving or pill-cutting is many a senior's hobby.

    I never claimed I have the solution to any ail and I have gotten off my ass and done something about this issue and many of the things I feel strongly about.... I only wish the day was 240 hours long...

    VJ


  • edited December 1969
    Actually I'm not

    That particular comment was a sidetrack in my rant on socialism, both in the US and on the 'net. I see no reason to believe you're actually a socialist, s'merely an example of the style.

    Your original post, however, was all show and no substance. It's great to see that you do act in the benefit of the causes you believe in, so do I, but a flat statement that America isn't compassionate doesn't lead me to see that. Brazil is trying hard, and I carefully selected material in my post that showed both their successes and, if you dug, their failures and reliance on international aid to sustain the program.

    In short, you set the tone and I grabbed it and ran with it. No offense is meant.

    Ramses II
  • edited December 1969
    Correction

    "clearly a numbingly foolish idea"
    "to say ... is simply disgusting"
    "points back to utter incompetentcy"

    That's *the* utter incomptetentcy. If you're going to shoot (Attack?) from the peanut gallery try to make 'em accurate. ;-)

    _/ C

    Ramses II
  • edited December 1969
    How come no one has hit on the larger issue?

    You can all nit pick back and forth US vs Brazil all day long(if notlonger).

    What I see is that this discussion os more concerned with putting a bandage on wound that doesn't appear to be healing. What I mean is that giving away medicine does not cure the problem. It is the same as a car that leaks oil. By putting newspaper on the floor of the garage to soak up the oil where it leaks from does not fix the problem. The attention should be turned to the offending area of the engine that is leaking and not the garage that is being leaked on.

    I didn't want to get involved in this discussion, but I felt that this needed to be said.

    Darklord


    image
  • edited December 1969
    [b]You mean a cure?[/b]

    [quote]
    What I see is that this discussion os more concerned with
    putting a bandage on wound that doesn't appear to be healing.
    What I mean is that giving away medicine does not cure the
    problem. It is the same as a car that leaks oil. By putting
    newspaper on the floor of the garage to soak up the oil where it
    leaks from does not fix the problem. The attention should be
    turned to the offending area of the engine that is leaking and
    not the garage that is being leaked on.

    [/quote]
    I honestly believe that just about everything that can reasonably be done towards curing AIDS is being done. It's an extremely difficult problem to eradicate an illness like AIDS in a human being. Some of the drug cocktails we're discussing repress the disease for periods of time to the point of it being difficult to find, but there seem to be invariable relapses as the patient's body or strains of the virus itself adjust to the drugs. Some clinical trials have shown promising results against specific strains using carefully prepared vaccinations, but these both offer no hope to the already infected and are ineffective against the constantly changing variety of strains of AIDS.

    This is a badly overused comparison, but AIDS in some ways is like the common cold. Virtually every case in each individual person has an incredible amount of variance to the point that even the best 'cure' may end up helping 5-10% of the total infected population anyway. What is perhaps most needed though, is simply education. Following centuries of Catholic indoctrination and broad scale abuse by the civilized world the so called third world, even when provided with free condoms and visual proof of this disease, often finds itself facing blank denial in it's citizens. Three years ago a survey found that less than ten percent of the whores in Kinshasa used condoms on a regular basis, and none of them used condoms in every case. This in a nation where AIDS victims are buried by the dozen every day.

    Is a real cure possible? My ignorant guess would be yes, but is it just a matter of throwing more money at the problem?

    Absolutely not. Education and prevention must become even greater priorities and effective means of communicating the danger to indigenous and 3rd world populations must be discovered.

    Some material on this subject in these links:

    http://women3rdworld.about.com/library/weekly/aa070501.htm?iam=dpile&terms=%2BAIDS+%2Beducation+%2Bin+%2Bthe+%2Bthird+%2Bworld

    (Up to date women infected with AIDS stats)

    http://www.avert.org/

    (Excellent all around information site and a solid AIDS charity)

    http://www.aidsmeds.com/

    (A interesting page run by an HIV positive man with a decent forum and a good plain english drug listing)

    http://www.who.int/emc/diseases/hiv/

    (The WHO summary page with plenty of links)

    Ramses II
  • edited December 1969
    Probably not in our lifetimes

    It's sad to say, but in all likelyhood anyone infected today with a retrovirus will still probably 'have' that retrovirus on the day they die. That applies to HIV, Herpes, Chicken Pox and lot of others. Once the virus has incorporated itself into your cells, the only way to remove it ("cure you") is to destroy the cells ("kill you").

    Curing someone of such a virus just is not done.

    You instead do one or more of the following :

    0. Learn and follow behaviors that reduce the risk of infection.

    1. Immunize the population so that the pockets of infection are isolated in those already infected.

    2. Control the symptoms.

    3. Use methods to restrict the reproduction of the virus.

    4. Let the disease run it's course, if it is one that eventually clears the body, and hope natural immunity and prevention of re-exposure prevents re-infection.

    For HIV :

    0 : Safe sex
    1 : In testing, not yet proven
    2 : Diet and stress management techniques often used
    3 : This is where the drugs come in (anti-retrovirals)
    4 : Since HIV 'running it's course' means you die in a lot of cases and it never really clears, not appropriate for this circumstance.

    Please note that this is one of those places that the comparison of HIV to the common cold breaks down rather rapidly. Rhinoviruses (most "colds") are NOT retroviruses. They infect, reproduce, destroying cells and then pass on. They are 'hit and run' artists. retroviruses on the other hand incorporate their genetic material into the cells DNA and often sit dormant until some trigger causes them to re-express. This means that even if you could sweep somebodies systems clear of viral particles for 10 years (probably enough to eliminate the immune response (titre) used to diagnose HIV infection) this person is NOT cured. They could have one triggering event and have a measurable titre 3-6 months later with no additional exposure.

    HIV is not going to go away, the chances of a cure are slim to none.
  • edited December 1969
    [b]an even bigger health crisis[/b]

    All of what you say about HIV is true. But there is another virus- HCV(Hep C) which is just beginning to take it's toll...well the URL says it all and you should be informed.

    http://www.epidemic.org/

    [quote]
    It's sad to say, but in all likelyhood anyone infected today
    with a retrovirus will still probably 'have' that retrovirus on
    the day they die. That applies to HIV, Herpes, Chicken Pox and
    lot of others. Once the virus has incorporated itself into your
    cells, the only way to remove it ("cure you") is to
    destroy the cells ("kill you").

    Curing someone of such a virus just is not done.

    You instead do one or more of the following :

    0. Learn and follow behaviors that reduce the risk of infection.

    1. Immunize the population so that the pockets of infection are
    isolated in those already infected.

    2. Control the symptoms.

    3. Use methods to restrict the reproduction of the virus.

    4. Let the disease run it's course, if it is one that eventually
    clears the body, and hope natural immunity and prevention of
    re-exposure prevents re-infection.

    For HIV :

    0 : Safe sex
    1 : In testing, not yet proven
    2 : Diet and stress management techniques often used
    3 : This is where the drugs come in (anti-retrovirals)
    4 : Since HIV 'running it's course' means you die in a lot of
    cases and it never really clears, not appropriate for this
    circumstance.

    Please note that this is one of those places that the comparison
    of HIV to the common cold breaks down rather rapidly.
    Rhinoviruses (most "colds") are NOT retroviruses. They
    infect, reproduce, destroying cells and then pass on. They are
    'hit and run' artists. retroviruses on the other hand
    incorporate their genetic material into the cells DNA and often
    sit dormant until some trigger causes them to re-express. This
    means that even if you could sweep somebodies systems clear of
    viral particles for 10 years (probably enough to eliminate the
    immune response (titre) used to diagnose HIV infection) this
    person is NOT cured. They could have one triggering event and
    have a measurable titre 3-6 months later with no additional
    exposure.

    HIV is not going to go away, the chances of a cure are slim to
    none.

    [/quote]
  • edited December 1969
    Re: Probably not in our lifetimes

    Hails!
    I am in toatal agreement with SJ here. A cure for a retrovirus would involve using an agent that would specifically look for the Genetic material in question and then destroy the hosting cell or somehow remove the offending DNA and then destroy it. The current state of molecular biology is quite a long ways off from this. However, technology changes so rapidly these days, it is so very hard to predict when this will become possible. 20 years ago, molecular biology didn't even really exist (as we use the term today). In than time span, we have been able to some pretty amazing things. Even now, the union of computers and molecular biology (techniques such as DNA array) will vastly imporve what can and will be done. From my standpoint...I think (hope) i have at least another 50 years to live, and I wouldn't rule out a cure for a retrovitrus in that time. 10-20 years...very unlikely....but beyond that..who knows.

    Spit



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