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Too much money for AIDS research
Nov 21, 2003

It is clear that AIDS is a relatively minor irritant in the overall scheme of things. I understand that someone who has HIV is anxious for the disease to be controlled or eradicated, but (1) retrovirae are not eradicated and (2) the most fruitful results in terms of control are to be found through good nutrition, exercise, and a healthy mental outlook, all of which are cheap.

I read your account of the side effects you have encountered from protease inhibitors. How many people can afford plastic surgery anyway? Not many. We can't all feed from the trough.

As a doctor, you should be concerned about your patients as well as the public. Is the public being served by having a disproportionate amount of money on a virus that affects a very small part of the population?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

"Too much money for AIDS research"??? "AIDS is a relatively minor irritant in the overall scheme of things????" "Is the public being served by having a disproportionate amount of money spent on a virus that affects a very small part of the population???" "As a doctor, I should be concerned about my patients as well as the public???"

Perhaps the best way to respond to your annoying and ignorant question is to merely post a few facts, and ask you to reconsider your opinion:

1. HIV/AIDS is the worst infectious disease catastrophe since the bubonic plague decimated a quarter of Europe's population in the 14th century. 2. Every 10 seconds, someone in the world dies of AIDS. 3. 42 million people are infected; only one million are presently receiving treatment. 4. By 2010, there will be 20 million AIDS orphans worldwide and more than 100 million people infected with the virus.

I'm quite amazed that the magnitude and devastation of this human tragedy can still be met with such apathy and referred to as a "minor irritant"!

"The most fruitful results in terms of control are to be found through good nutrition, exercise, and a healthy mental outlook???" Really??? While outlook, nutrition, and exercise are certainly important to anyone's good health, I'd have to say antiviral drugs are the critical factor in controlling HIV disease progression in those of us who are cohabitating with the virus.

As for my "concern" for patients and the public, I am the founder and President of a tax-exempt charitable organization, The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation, whose sole mission is to provide crucial services for men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS and to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic through advocacy and education. To date, The Foundation and I have raised over $800,000 for AIDS service organizations around the world. (www.concertedeffort.org)

And tell me kind sir; while I've been busy combating this "minor irritant," what have you been up to?

Dr. Bob



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