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Dr. Young
Mar 16, 2005

"For those who are already infected with HIV, there will not be a cure or eradicative treatment."

HUH??? Who the heck knows that to be a fact??

This is a recent statement from our friend Dr. Ben. I've been reviewing this site for quite some time. While I greatly appreicate the efforts of the experts on this site, I must say this comment broke the camel's back for me as it relates to our friend ben. His responses are often so flipptant, somewhat condescending, brief and quite frankly, lacking in critical thinking expected of an MD. Many of us readers are well educated and well versed in the field. While this is a free service, I must say such 'shoot from the hip' comments are insulting to all of us impacted by this disease. If you are going to put yourself out there in service to us in the HIV community then please be thoughtful, considerate and respectful.

Ben...I think it may be time for you to move on.

Response from Dr. Young

Sorry that I've seem to offended so many with a 5- to 10 year forecast that doesn't offer a cure. This was not a statement of fact anymore that a weather forecast is a statement of fact. This is an opinion.

Let me clarify and please don't get this part wrong-- I'd love to see all persons infected with HIV live happy, healthy and normal lives.

I define cure as the state where HIV has been eradicated from the body, there is no (read zero) risk of disease progression and no risk of transmission. Because HIV is a retrovirus, its genes become part of our genes. Eradication would require the genetic excision of the virus or the death of all infected cells.

To my knowledge and humble opinion there is no human retrovirus that is eradicated (cured) from infected persons.

This position should not be interpreted to suggest that research for better (and possibly eradicative) treatments should not be vigourously persued.

This also shouldn't be construed, however, to mean that persons with HIV cannot live full and productive lives with little or no symptoms of their infection.

I'm sorry that you and others find this forecast insulting.

Respectfully, BY



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