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This can be dangerous
Sep 22, 2003

Hi Dear Dr.

It can be dangerous when one looks back and makes judgements on how the medical community responded to a crisis. Remember in the 1980s the field of virology was nowhere NEAR where we are today. Yes, there could have been more research done in the early stage of the disease to treat those infected, but remember AZT was experimental when approved by the FDA and that was not because the government wanted to use people as lab rats but rather to treat those who were sick because time was of the essence.

GSK has made millions off the drug-and will continue to- as it invests millions towards breakthrough drugs. AZT, and the drugs that have followed (especially the NNRTIs), have saved many lives. Now doctors are armed with the knowledge of proper dosage, and can monitor the progress of treatment. They usually treat when subject's CD4 are below 200, and when those deaths occured in the 1980s most were already without an intact immune system.

I just cringe every time I see a web site spouting how HIV doesn't cause AIDS, how the drug compaines are in cahoots with shadowy regions of the world, etc. Sure, there is only a correlation between the virus and AIDS. There are no causal links beacuse one cannot do such a study! Still, there is a correlational link between smoking and cancer and many accept this without documented controlled studies confirming it. So most accept it. As they should. NOW, with the ARVs, the viral load of many people decreases and T cells (an extraordinary feat) rebound. This is observed. It is documented. It is real.

Among others, we have those at GSK to thank for this.

Best,

GH

Response from Dr. Young

Well put--thanks for your comments. I'm sure that the folks at GlaxoSmithKline will welcome your views. BY



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