This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Can AIDS be Cured?

The 19th International AIDS Conference was held last week in Washington, DC. The Economist reports that the question being whispered around the conference was "Can AIDS be Cured?" This is obviously a titillating headline, but the story makes it clear that we may still be a few scientific breakthroughs away from being able to answer 'yes' to that question.
The conference’s formal business was to keep up the momentum behind the most successful public-health campaign of the past 30 years: the taming, at the cost of a few pills a day, of an infection that was once an inevitable killer. It still kills. About 1.7m people succumbed last year. But that figure is down from 2.3m in 2005 (see chart 1), and is expected to continue falling. Now, therefore, some people are starting to look beyond the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs which have brought this success. They are asking if something else could do even better.
As The Economist notes, the problem with the ARVs is that they don't get rid of the virus, they just keep it in hiding, so you have to stay on the medication all of your life, and that is very expensive.
A race is therefore on to work out how to flush the virus from its hiding places and get rid of it completely. Several clues suggest a cure may be possible. But no one knows which route will lead to it.
In the meantime, the disease continues to spread, even in the US, as noted in a recent story in the Charlotte Observer:

What 30 years ago was a disease that primarily affected white gay men now has a significant effect on far more populations, including gay and bisexual black and Latino men and heterosexual black women. And while HIV was, and still is, considered a big-city problem, it affects impoverished rural communities at an alarming rate, especially in the Deep South.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, blacks are eight times more likely to contract HIV than whites are. Black women are 15 times more likely to become infected than white women. Black youths are 10 times more at risk for HIV than their white counterparts are.
Latinos don't fare that much better. The nation's fastest-growing and largest minority population - at 16 percent - is infected with HIV at a rate three times that of whites.
The fact that people with HIV no longer have a nearly automatic death sentence does not diminish the importance of seeking a cure nor of continuing to push for prevention, including circumcision and using condoms. 

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/07/26/3407941/what-science-cant-yet-treat-hivs.html#storylink=cpy

7 comments:

  1. I am cieble jen from Uk, i navel believe that hiv cure is real on till i got in contact with Dr. dr abiola, my HIV stated eight years ago, i was even waiting for death because all my money went out for drug, which keep me till today, one day i saw in the interment that HIV cure is out i then email Dr abiola and he prepare the herb for me which i took, after taking it he told me to go to the hospital which i did, could you believe that i was confirm HIV negative after the test, and i went to another hospital and it was also negative. if you have this problem and you want to be free from it please contact this doctor with this email address deadly.diseases.cure@hotmail.com , he is the best HIV cure you will find in the whole world. thank you Dr abiola am free now

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  5. HOW I CURED MY HIV/AIDS
    My name is Harms jude.I am from united
    kingdom . I want all the
    viewer's all over the word to hear me out. I
    tested positive to
    HIV/ADS for 3years and four months. Which
    has being eating me up since
    then. until i meet these great spiritual man,
    DR ISUMAFEN who help me
    put an end to my infection. I am very happy
    and grateful for what DR
    ISUMAFEN done for me, by using this media
    to thank him.I own you a lot
    my great Doctor.if u reading this, and you are
    into any kind of
    problem you can contact DR ISUMAFEN.He is
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    ReplyDelete
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