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Anything to be excited about?
Jun 30, 2006

Dr Bob...

Love ya, love ya love ya! :-)

A few questions....

* Regarding the recent email you had re: the chimp testing recently (article online stating researchers have finally isolated the origin of HIV...from chimpanzees in Cameroon...could this be a spring board towards a greater understanding of the disease?) did you feel this was anything to get excited about? Isnt the fact that these chimps can live with HIV/SIV without probs be something HUGE? Is there ANYTHING happening to be excited about re: new trials? What have you heard in your "medical world" that you feel excited about re: meds, trials, tests etc? These are things I hope you can make us aware of?

* I heard something that upset me the other day, and one would not think that the human race could be so cruel, but would it be true that people are close to a vaccine/cure, but there "is" some kind of conspiracy that medical companies will make more money from treatment than cure and vaccines? PLEASE tell me there are hard working, passionate researchers and medical teams out there still fighting for us all, and they will not get "cut off" from making this happen?

For all us out there "keeping the faith"!

Jimmy xo

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Jimmy,

Anything to be excited about? Hell yes! Hands down the most exciting development for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, vaccine and cure came just yesterday when billionaire Warren Buffett donated 31 billion dollars to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation! BRAVO WARREN BUFFETT!!!

Regarding HIV prevention or therapeutic vaccines, no, there is definitely no conspiracy, nor are we close to a vaccine/cure. Two things have been holding up progress on a vaccine/cure:

1. Money.

2. Understanding some fundamental scientific concepts about HIV and the immune system. HIV is a devilishly complex foe. All attempts to develop a vaccine to date have failed, because HIV can quickly mutate into forms that sidestep the antibodies produced by the vaccine candidates. Surprisingly, 25 years into the HIV pandemic, we still do not understand precisely which parts of the immune response are critical to protect an individual from infection or disease progression. We call these "correlates of immunity." Certainly with the discovery of the chimps in Cameroon who coexist with SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) without getting ill combined with the cash infusion for research and development magnanimously given by Warren Buffett, we now have every reason to be excited . . . very excited. In fact, if I were any more excited at the moment, I just might . . . well, you know.

Let's all be here for the cure, OK Jeremy? Oh and by the way, love you too, love you too, love you too!!!!

Dr. Bob



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