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Are they forgetting us?
Aug 22, 2006

Dr Bob, I think "any hiv research, trials, etc" is a good thing, although I must admit my worry (sounding very self absorbed I know) about the focus being purely on a vaccine to "protect" from hiv...but where does that leave us> What about the people living with hiv? Is that no longer a priority? A vaccine would be incredible and I'd be thankful to hear of it if it were created.... But what about the people with loved ones or people living with hiv.....are we still in the researchers thoughts?

I would liek to hear Dr Steve's views on this also, as him having the love of his life live with hiv - is there enough being done out there to help the infected in the future? or as bad as it sounds, it is "bad timing" for us....and the infected are jsut left to "die out"?

Your thoughts?

Jason.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Jason,

Do I think scientific HIV research is forgetting about us, the virally enhanced? No, not really. Do I think enough is being done? No, definitely not.

Regarding HIV vaccines, there are actually two different types under study "preventative" vaccines to protect against infection and "therapeutic" vaccines to bolster the immune system of HIV-infected folks to better fight the virus.

The reason you are hearing so much information and emphasis being placed on prevention interventions, like preventative vaccines and microbicides, is primarily because that was one of the key themes stressed in last week's International AIDS Conference in Toronto. Also, it's a question of economics. The pandemic has been allowed to spread so widely over 40 million currently infected and an additional five million expected to join the ranks this year that it has now become unfeasible to provide effective treatment for the burgeoning population of HIVers on the planet. Ultimately the only way to get a handle on this still volatile and dynamic pandemic is to prevent new infections, while simultaneously treating those currently infected.

Do I think it's "bad timing" for us? No, not at all. In fact, without the miraculous advancements we've made over the past decade in treating HIV, I certainly wouldn't be here today. So in some ways, perhaps I'm living on "borrowed time" already. I'm encouraged by organizations like the Clinton Foundation's and the Gates Foundation's focus on HIV/AIDS. We certainly can't rely on Dubya's faith-based approach to the problem, which often seems more focused on saving souls than lives.

So let's continue to advocate for (or perhaps, better yet, demand) a cure! Personally I plan on succumbing to old age, not HIV.

To get Dr. Steve's views on this or any other topic, just submit your question to his attention in the Tratamientos Forum. (Yes, he speaks English as well as Spanish!)

Stay well, Jason. Be here for the cure, OK?

Dr. Bob


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