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near an end?
Feb 27, 2004

I have seen a few comments about longevity, and it is great that most HIV carriers will not die of AIDS. But at a risk of sounding like a Polyanna, I suspect the future looks even more promising than you doctors here explain. (I survived a childhood cancer probably due to improved chemo in the late 1970s. Technology and Stanford doctors were my friends. Had my cancer occured two years earlier, I may well not be typing this.)

Look at the advances that are already here for both cancer and AIDS: New treatments are incresing the odds of beating several forms of cancer, and now there is real promise against kidney and even lung cancer. A new Australian vaccine may well turn HIV mnagememnt into a 4 times a year shot with almost no side effects. If not that drug, then the next - or the next.

My guess is that many who read this forum do not realize the advances in 3D computer modeling that did not even exist in the dark 1980s. I am not here predicting an outright cure, but unlike you doctors who must be cautious, we Polyannas who follow the developments can openly discuss the _significant_ pattern of advances in the past three years.

There will be other major problems in the world, including the real possibility of another horible virus, but HIV will not be what we are talking much about in 2010. And that will be great news.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your lengthy and thoughtful comments.

I do agree with you that the future is very bright for persons with HIV who have access to care and that scientific discovery will continue to provide us with better and better ways to treat those with HIV. It would be truly great news that HIV won't be a big issue some time in the future.

That said, I dissagree that we won't be talking about HIV in 2010-- What is newsworthy is often a reflection of tag lines and marketing. Just look at the attention that the few dozens of cases of avian influenza has received; all at a time when thousands of persons are dying of HIV related disease, and at a time when we have effective treatments. There are so many challenges for the domestic and international HIV community-- to access to care, the cost of medications and the emergence of drug resistance that we'll be fighting the virus and policy writer, saddly, for decades to come. BY



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