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Bob says "No Cure In Sight"
Sep 30, 2005

Dr. Bob,

I have read several of your answers in which you say that there is no cure in sight. Although a "cure" may not be in sight, I believe that few of life's major discoveries are anticipated. I believe that within the next 10 to 15 years there will be therapy that will allow the newly infected to live normal lifespans with relatively few side effects. This may be expected, and a major breakthrough may pop up out of nowhere. I realize you don't want people to become complacent by saying that a cure is around the corner but it is important to let people know that progress is being made every day and things are getting better incrementally. On another note, I believe that once the HIV puzzle is solved, science should focus on how to deal with some of these avian flu strains that may prove to be the biggest public heath threat in the history of the world. Finally, if HIV is solved in one highly publicized breakthrough, I fear that there may be a period of time where many people forgot the lessons they have learned in one great orgy of promiscuity, and rates of some other disease like syphillis would skyrocket. Anyway, have a great day and keep up your great work!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

1. Science and humankind cannot and should not wait for the HIV puzzle to be solved before addressing the very real threat of avian flu. We really do need to do more than one thing at a time.

2. As I have often stated, I'm perhaps the most optimistic person on the planet. Yes, incremental progress is being made. You "believe" that in "10 to 15 years there will be therapy that will allow the newly infected to live a normal lifespan with relatively few side effects." O.K., then we agree a "cure" is not even on the horizon. And what about the millions of not-so-newly infected folks that would well pass the 100,000,000 mark by that time??? We really can't settle for the current slow pace of incremental progress. More needs to be done. Yes, pure serendipity may reveal an unanticipated cure. However, we certainly can't rely on that either.

Hence, it's time to confront the pandemic, confront the apathy, recognize the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS problem and demand a cure now!

Dr. Bob


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