In a week filled with great and fab updates on the war on AIDS, we've had a new prevention drug, word that new related deaths are dropping, and now there's a focused effort on actually producing a cure!
The world is totally ready for one!
The sick part of this article is the revelation that scientists and drug companies HAVEN'T been really working on one. They've just been trying to contain the symptoms and vaccines.
They're not swinging for the fence, really.
The International Aids Society (IAS) are swinging away, on the other hand.
They say it's our best chance at eradication — vaccines are still far off, treatment costs are way too high.
So what do they consider a cure?
They call it a "functional cure." What does this mean? It means that there are those out there that have the disease, but do not need medication to handle it. It happens to about .3% or 1% depending on who you ask. For some of them it is 20 years since they were infected with HIV, and they have no detectable levels of virus in the blood.
So basically, if you can stop taking drugs, then you have been "functionally cured".
The inspiration for this is Timothy Brown — a man that had both HIV and leukemia. The doctors selected a special bone marrow transplant from a donor that had a gene that made him resistant to HIV — now Brown is cured of both cancer and HIV.
Even though it still might be a while, it's never to early to start searching!
That's the first step!
[Image via AP Images.]