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So frustrated!! Will there ever be a cure?

Nov 28, 2013

Greetings Dr.Young. I don't want to sound ungrateful. I am happy tht medicine for this dreaded bugger HIV is much more tolerable and better. I'm also awards I should be grateful I got to undetectable within a few months of initial infection. But will there ever be a freaking cure for this thing? It's soooo unbearable to know that we are toxic. I'm trying to hold out and remain positive. No pun intended!! That we may eventually be thanking a lot of researchers and scientist for finding and giving us our lives back HIV free. Please tell me that it's at least possible that we may have one.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

On this Thanksgiving Day here in the US, your question raises some interesting thoughts.

First, HIV medications aren't (yet) a cure that eliminates the virus, but these medications have taken a once-lethal disease into one where a well tolerated, safe pill a day eliminates illness and death. Some may criticize me for this narrowly defined view, but I call that a "cure" too. I think that's something to be very grateful for.

Second, recent advances about curing HIV have taken huge strides in recent years. Indeed, there are now credible cases of HIV cure, including the case of a young girl who was cured with current treatments; simply requiring access to very early treatment. This case points the way to the possibility of eliminating pediatric HIV/AIDS- a situation that could prevent millions of deaths every year. There are also the cases of HIV cure in adults after bone marrow (stem cell) transplantation. While these bone marrow transplant are not the way forward for the general HIV+ population, they point the way to other strategies. It may still take years to find a safer and cost-effective way, but in their sum, these all of these cured cases state that cure is possible.

Third, being on HIV treatments and having an undetectable viral load clearly means that transmitting the demon (in reference to your toxic comment) is very, very unlikely. This fact should help (but certainly not eliminate) your feelings of toxicity to others.

So yes. A cure is possible. Indeed for the limited definition of a cure from death from AIDS, medications to "cure" or prevent this from happening. Indeed, from the more conventional definition and for at some circumstances (newborns), I think that it may be already here.

Stay well and Happy Thanksgiving. BY

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