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Author Topic: Why is there still nothing done about AIDS?  (Read 5282 times)

Offline Tebogo Taukobong

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Why is there still nothing done about AIDS?
« on: 22/07/2009 10:30:03 »
Tebogo Taukobong  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Why is there still nothing done about aids?
 
Thanks Tebogo

What do you think?


 

Offline chris

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Why is there still nothing done about AIDS?
« Reply #1 on: 23/07/2009 22:17:05 »
To be honest I think quite a bit is being done about HIV - the Gates foundation have identified it as a major priority and the amount of research funding being applied to the problem eclipses most other funding streams (apart from space science and particle accelerators I'd guess!).

Or did you have something specific in mind?
 

Offline Chelsie

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Why is there still nothing done about AIDS?
« Reply #2 on: 23/07/2009 22:18:55 »
The way traditional vaccines work is by introducing a dead or weakened virus into our body so that our immune system can familiarize itself with the virus without threat of the virus taking over. The immune system then creates antibodies against the virus. A virus can still infect the body but the antibodies will immediately attack and kill the virus which will keep it from getting out of control. Therefore you are still infected with the virus but the vaccine will make the infection less severe and some people will no signs or symptoms of being infected.

The AIDs virus is extremely difficult to cure because it specifically attacks the immune system which is vital for fending of disease. AIDs itself doesn't kill you, but other illnesses that you contract can due to your extremely compromised immune system. Unfortunately with AIDs, we cannot simply introduce a weakened or dead AIDS virus into the body so that the immune system can build up antibodies. The body cannot be taught to fight of the virus naturally. We would have to somehow come up with a vaccine that prevents infection all together and this is extremely difficult.

Unfortunately you also have to consider that AIDS, unlike other viruses, is extremely diverse and versatile and has a high mutation rate. This means that it is constantly changing. Theoretically if we developed a vaccine against AIDs, there is a good chance it would mutate into a different form before the vaccine is available to public. This of course would render the original vaccine useless.

All of this makes it seem like we'll never cure AIDs but there has been some recent developments with bone marrow transplants and stem cells that have made us biomedical scientist very hopeful. Here is an article if you're interested: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7726118.stm [nofollow]
« Last Edit: 23/07/2009 22:25:13 by Chelsie »
 

Offline Nizzle

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Why is there still nothing done about AIDS?
« Reply #3 on: 13/08/2009 15:02:25 »
Tebogo Taukobong  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Why is there still nothing done about aids?
 
Thanks Tebogo

What do you think?

Like all companies, big pharma's want to earn money, and right now, more money can be made by discovering new ways to treat cancer, or even only alleviate symptoms or improve life quality of cancer patients.

Therefore, HIV research has declined at the expense of cancer research.
 

Offline Variola

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Why is there still nothing done about AIDS?
« Reply #4 on: 14/08/2009 10:27:02 »
Quote
Like all companies, big pharma's want to earn money, and right now, more money can be made by discovering new ways to treat cancer, or even only alleviate symptoms or improve life quality of cancer patients.

Therefore, HIV research has declined at the expense of cancer research.

That is a fair point. However I think the impovisations in drug therapy that is present now to treat HIV is one of the main reasons, HIV is no longer the short death sentence it once was. Anti-retro viral therapies have increased the life expectancy of an HIV patient to 10-15 yrs now, perhaps even longer.  That's better odds than many cancer patients get, even with a good remission and excellent drugs, for example Herceptin.
There are still less people being diagnosed with HIV than with cancer,(in the Western world)  so that naturally lends itself to cancer being a more 'pressing' disease. It is also better funded by charitable works and legacies than HIV research is, although HIV research has more funding on an international scale.
I am of course only talking about HIV in this country and similar is  countries. it is a very different story in Africa.
 

Offline sheather

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Why is there still nothing done about AIDS?
« Reply #5 on: 16/10/2009 10:28:19 »
The AIDS epidemic is spreading its arms as time passes by; many donít even know they are infected while many have already fallen prey to it. As of today, about 0.5% of the total population (around 40 million) is infected with HIV/AIDS. Since 2003, a company by the name of CytoDyn has devoted its time and effort to find a cure for this deadly disease. Recently, they have started working in collaboration with the Massachusetts General Hospital on their immune-based therapy for AIDS, a drug called Cytolin. You can view the current press release about this development at the link below:
newbielink:http://blog.insidecytolin.com/?p=197 [nonactive]
 

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Why is there still nothing done about AIDS?
« Reply #5 on: 16/10/2009 10:28:19 »

 

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