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Another cure question

May 29, 2003

Hey Doc.,

If this question isn't valid in terms of addressing a new angle on an old topic, then please discard it faster than a used syringe. I'm hoping it's a pretty good one.

Since we can't really cure any other viruses (can we?), are we fooling ourselves if we hold out hope to be Negative at some point in the future (albeit fairly distant).

Are the great strides made in HIV treatment (all kinds) so great as to give hope for a cure, in an area (viruses) where they've not been seen otherwise?

Or is it more realistic that HIV will go more the way of small pox, with the infected masses dying with the disease (though not necessarily of it), and vaccine protecting the negative population.

Basically, how can the C word even be used realistically besides by crazy, desperate dreamers?

Please temper your usual 'glass is half full' mentality, if possible. Thank you, and I enjoy all of your insightful, positive replies.

Response from Dr. Wohl

While it is true that we are just entering the age of antiviral therapy, the good news is that the advances in our battle against viruses are stacking. Prime examples of our early gains are our ability to actually CURE hepatitis C and B using antiviral drugs. Some may add to this list influenza. Additionally, we know that antiviral therapies such as acyclovir and ganciclovir have helped relieve the suffering brought on by herpes simplex, varicella and CMV.

Remember, it was only in 1929 that Sir Alexander Fleming noted the effect a strange mold had on bacteria in a petri dish. Who at that time would have anticipated our overall success in treating bacterial diseases.

If we say a cure for HIV is not possible, then we ensure that will be the case. DW

Are there any homes for HIV patients?
vaccine/cure clarification

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