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More hope for a cure... or not...
Mar 18, 2007

Hi Doctor Frascino, What do you think about this new article?

The world could have a new vaccine designed to kill the AIDS virus in as little as three to four years according to an Atlanta-based group working on the vaccine... Click on the link to view the full story... http://www.11alive.com/news/article_news.aspx?storyid=93439

Thank you very much for all you do!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I would say these predictions are overly optimistic. The vaccine candidate you are referring to has only been preliminarily tested in monkeys so far, to my knowledge. Consequently, before it can be proven to be both safe and effective in humans, much more research will need to be done. Certainly the preliminary results so far do look encouraging, but my guess is that even if it works, the vaccine won't be ready for primetime for at least a decade. We've had many disappointments on our way to developing an effective therapeutic and/or preventative vaccine. Margaret Heckler, Regan's Secretary for Health and Human Services, claimed famously that we would definitely have an effective AIDS vaccine by 1984! You can see how accurate that prediction was! I'll reprint an article from the archives that discusses AIDS vaccines.

Stay well.

Dr. Bob

Two HIV questions - Transmission and a possible cure?! Feb 25, 2007

Hi Dr! Just had a few questions that didn't seem to have entire threads dedicated to them (or at least none that I could find).

Let's say, I'm just laying there and suddenly, through no fault of my own, there is a quantity of semen that is discharged upon my scantily clad body while Shakira's new remix plays in the background.

Is there a HIV risk associated with semen being ejaculated on one's body? Specifically, if it comes in contact with lips, nips and hips? Regardless if Shakira's hips lie or not...

Secondly, I'd like to reference an article and perhaps get your opinions on it.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/article2290687.ece

This was published Feb 21 and seemed to demonstrate significant progress. Just wanted to see if you had any insight, comments, etc.

Thanks as always!

- Lois Carmen Denominator

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

You were just laying there and suddenly, through no fault of your own, there was a quantity of semen that was discharged upon your scantily clad body while Shakira's new remix played in the background?????? Hmmm . . . maybe Shakira's hips don't lie, but do you really want me to believe your story? OK, OK, I'll believe you. Millions wouldn't, but I'll believe you! So you were spunked from lips to hips to hips??? Jeez Dude, what were you target practice for an entire rugby team's circle jerk? Or were you perhaps playing Davy Does Dallas? Never mind. Your baby-batter bath is not considered an HIV risk.

Second, the article in Nature describing the computer-generated 3-D image of a neutralizing antibody that might block gp120's ability to link to CD4 cells (a potential Achilles' heel of HIV infection) is indeed newsworthy and promising. However, it's still a very preliminary finding and making a safe and effective preventative or therapeutic vaccine from this information will require many years and a great deal of work before it would be ready for prime time if it really does turn out to work in humans! Don't get me wrong. I was jazzed when I first heard about this, but I'm also a realist and wanted to keep this and other findings in proper perspective. These are only insights and small steps toward AIDS medicine's Holy Grail a preventative vaccine and cure! As the article points out:

"Anyone who knows anything about Aids research knows that the field is littered with false dawns. American politicians promised an effective vaccine within five years of discovering HIV in 1984. British scientists thought that they could develop one within 10 years of being given huge government grants in the early 1990s. And in 1997 President Bill Clinton said he wanted to see an Aids vaccine by 2007 which, of course, has not happened."

Finally, getting back to Shakira's hips, if you really want the "Lois Carmen Denominator," I'd suggest you check out:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8718728501056290731

Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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