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A Trio of Thoughts
Oct 6, 2008

Dear Dr. Frascino,

I am catching up on my latest "Dr. Bob" reading tonight :=) and 3 questions keep pestering me....here they are

1. If, as you stated, no cure for positive people at this time in sight nor a vaccine for the non-infected within a reasonable time period why isn't there also strong efforts/research in strengthening the immune system separate from a vaccine or anti-virals or maybe I'm just not aware of them? Could somehow some stem cell research help in this department? (My apologies in advance for any apparent ignorance here.)

2. Wouldn't some good research into the HSV virus (which I understand is somewhat underfunded these days..) be beneficial in slowing the damage for people co-infected with HIV? I mean, to many millions of people deal with that also. Perhaps there could be some cross benefits of this research.

3. And, last but definitely not least when, oh when, are we going to have in this country a National Health Care model like our European neighbors, which neither candidate is talking about? (When I listen they're talking insurance models....)

Thank you in advance for reading my questions and everyone's questions in this forum. Your generous time in responding have helped countless people, including myself.

Best wishes to you and your family

Janelle

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Janelle,

A trio of pestering questions deserves a trio of (hopefully) enlightening responses.

1. There are indeed ongoing efforts to strengthen the body's immune response to HIV (and other ailments as well). We call these immune-based therapies. These are highly complex. Using the "tools" we presently have to manipulate the body's exquisitely balanced and extremely complex immune system is, however, analogous to having only a sledgehammer to tune up a Lamborghini. But we continue to make slow (very slow) steady progress. Could stem-cell research help? Sure, if we ever get that dimwit out of the White House (and if we don't replace him with Mr. Reckless and Ms. Inexperienced).

2. There have been active research programs involving HSV for many years. Yes, it as well as HIV research is under-funded. With $5,000 per second (yes, $5,000 per second) going to Dubya's disastrous war of choice, the 840 billion bailout and the cratering economy, I don't expect funding to increase anytime soon. Thank you Dubya and your Republican nitwit cronies.

3. This is the easiest of your three questions. When we elect Barack Obama and the Democrats in November (if the Republicans haven't totally decimated the country and the world's economy by then).

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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