Alligators and HIV

  • camofchris

    Posts: 73

    Apr 03, 2010 3:48 PM GMT
    Having coffee with a friend who frequents D.C. for treatment and to assist HIV advocacy groups. He says, “Have you heard the latest discovery?” Apparently, Alligators have white blood cell proteins that have shown promise in killing HIV, among other viruses.

    This seems like it'd be a pretty decent discovery, no?

    Here's where you come in:

    1. Why isn't this all over the media?
    When I was first diagnosed, I recall lots of coverage in the media on HIV: people dying, the search for the cure, costs of research, creation of treatment options, etc. Now that there are many new treatment options on the market that (thank god) improves and extends the lives of people living with the disease, it appears the press provides no coverage. In fact, world AIDS day is barely a blip on the radar anymore -- And that's just one day a year.

    2. With something that shows so much promise, why does it take so long to develop and get approval?

    I'm a process guy. I get it. Things take time.
    But I have to wonder where all the millions, even billions of dollars in donated research monies going? Is it reaching the companies and researchers who can actually make a difference? Are pharmaceuticals using that money towards more "treatment" options in instead of an actual cure? Are those who are receiving this money being held accountable for results? Is there incentive to discover a cure?

    I'm no conspiracy theorist, but it seems to be there'd be two main obstacles to fast-tracking a cure:

    - A cure would save lives and moneys, but it'd also shut down a healthy portion of an industry. Pharmaceuticals make millions by offering brand-named patents for HIV treatment. They even go so far as to reformulate existing drugs to create new brands that can be patented. Then you have all the wonderful support people: counselors, doctors, pharmacists, volunteers, the people who keep us alive, and make a living at it.

    a. In capitalist society, when one source of money/opportunity goes away, resources always shift to other opportunities. For those who'd be impacted, there'd be an inconvenience, but I have to hope (particularly for the support people) that they'd be elated a cure was discovered, and wouldn't hold ill-will. My guess is the leadership of companies profiting the most would prefer there not to be a cure, to keep the status quo.

    - Political and dogma reasons. There's a school of thought out there that says if HIV is cured, then society will immediately begin having wild, unprotected sex again. And of course, this flies in the face of god almighty. Some, shockingly, still believe HIV is god's answer to the sins of homosexuality.

    a. I've nothing to say about bigots. Like me, they'll die off, and hopefully be replaced by people who balance spirituality and rationality.

    b. News flash: people are already having unprotected sex . . . and will continue to, forever, regardless of whether there’s a cure. I'm not saying its right . . . but it still happens.

    I'd be curious to hear your feedback. . .

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    Apr 05, 2010 5:51 PM GMT
    CamofChris said
    2. With something that shows so much promise, why does it take so long to develop and get approval?
    The article you posted was from 2007.

    Try this: