|Why we need to be cured definitely
Jan 4, 2014
I appreciate very much your optimism and kind words about the current possibilities in treating HIV. However I need to make a provocative question. Why we still need to disclose? Why are we still criminalyzed? Why there's stigma? Why we need to take precautions during sex? Some questions seem stupid but following your considerations of a treatable and manageable disease we shouldn't be a big problem for the public health anymore. It's a chronic and not terminal condition, right? There are bigger diseases out there. But when we talk about HIV prevention we continue to split hairs calculating every single risk. Perhaps it is more dangerous driving a car in rash hour than making unprotected sex with an HIV positive partner on therapy. The answer is that as long as we carry this virus, ether on effective therapy or not, we are hazardous for the public and for the law. We can be arrested, filed as sex offenders and lose our job and our life. All this for a perfectly treatable disease. The problem is that people will never accept this disease as it is. Even if treated we can still transmit the virus. You answered recently a question in which you claimed that current therapies can be interpreted as a "cure". But it isn't a cure in any sense or logic you may consider. A true cure should eliminate the need to tell others about the disease and to use any precautions. Even a functional cure may not be able to address this possibilities (would it really change anything?) We need to eradicate this virus from any infected individual or we will never win this battle. For decades we relied on the use of condoms. What a bad strategy. Actual stastitics say that only 30% of the sexually active popolutation uses precautions during sex. The virus continues to spread after 30 years of prevention messages. People fear to get tested for stigma and criminalization. The problem is that stigma will never end. Not now and not in 50 years. A true cure is the only way to put an end to all this.
| Response from Dr. Young
Hello and thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I agree with you in that we all desire a cure for HIV- eradication of the virus, eradication of stigma and discrimination; not just for those living with the virus, but for those groups of people in risk populations.
Please don't over interpret my cup-half-full restricted definition of well tolerated medications that have the potential to eliminate unnecessary death from AIDS or pediatric HIV as taking away from the need or dream of HIV cure.
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