Cure for HIV
Apr 27, 2008
Why are we still talking about a cure for HIV when it is a VIRUS. Have we found a cure for the common cold (flu) which is also a VIRUS?
I believe we should be concentrating on finding a vacine to control the HIV Virus instead of talking about a cure.
Ngozi M. Awa (PhD)
Response from Dr. DeJesus
Dear Ngozi, You are partially correct. As opposed to other types of infections, such as bacterial and fungal, etc, viral infection are difficult to eradicate. As you know, they are intracellular infections that rely on our own cell machinery to replicate. Many incorporate their genetic material into our own DNA, such as hepatitis B and HIV, which make it virtually impossible (or perhaps better said "if possible, very, very difficult") to eradicate. Other viral infections do not incorporate their generic material in the host cell they infect, but rather establish reservoirs and/or dormant phases, such as many herpes viruses. But there are viral infections that are curable! Hepatitis C is an example of a curable viral disease, among a few others, as they fail to integrate into our own DNA and their reservoirs are easily targeted.
Our efforts in finding a preventive vaccine have been fruitless, and at the present time there are no viable candidates in development after recent failures of several prototype vaccine candidates; but therapeutic vaccines to aid in the delay of HIV progression may appear to some a more realistic option.
Thanks for posting your question.
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