Your opinion on HIV-1 and AIDS

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by FiReaNGeL, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    What can we do about wind? It's making people applecheeked so should obviously be stopped.
    And do you know how much feces is scattered over the african plains? I say we "cure" africa of wild animals, or at least sew the animals' assholes shut.
    We're humans so we need to "fix" the world.

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  3. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

    Dr Lou, while I don't disagree with some of your ideas, this thread does have a specific focus. Contribute to the topic of this thread if you are going to post here, please.

    No one is trying to fix the world.
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  5. Shoshi Registered Member

    The interesting thing about the two ideas posted here that have been discarded as immoral is that they HAVE been talked about, even in the scientific communities. Maybe not by the truly reputable scientists, but there are those out there with Mengela minds. The thing with HIV is, they would never work. The mutation rate is such that attempting to kill off HIV infected individuals with another virus would entail creating a virus which mutates just as fast to find all of the infected peoples. If it mutated that fast, how long before it would mutate enough to start killing healthy humans? As for the camp thing...Once again, with the mutation rate, introducing that many different strains into a "confined" population and it may become airborne very quickly as its food source began to die off.

    I am more interested in the idea that virii may actually have some sort of genetic prediposition toward survival that is stronger than people think. Initially people with HIV were dying fast and hard. Yes, drug therapies have improved greatly, as have life expectancies. Even those unaware of their infection, though, are dying slower, giving them a greater chance to infect others. Is this slow-down in death rate a sign that HIV has "realized" that killing off its food source means its own death?

    As for the theories here...Gene therapy will hopefully be a viable option for HIV infected individuals, but it would have to be done on a case-by-case basis, meaning that it would be ASTRONOMICALLY expensive. Yes, there are sequences that remain the same functionally for the different strains (although there are differences in some as well), but that functionality doesn't necessarily mean that the genetic code is unaltered. If there is an alteration in the genetic code even a little, the gene therapy wouldn't work at all and may cause even more problems. Witness the drug-resistant strains that are out there now.

    As for how to cure this...I don't know. That would be why I got out of the genetics business.
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  7. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

    I am well aware that functionality can be preserved with change, but it's preservation is limited. It is a one base pair difference that causes sickle-cell anemia, which should show how dramatically things can change. But, there are regions that are preserved moreso than others, such as functional regions. This is the main reason I suggested they be targeted. This would also eliminate the need for a case by case approach to the therapy.

    How long has it been since you "got out" of the genetics business?
  8. Deadwood Registered Senior Member

    One of my friends, a Cambodian, his uncle got HIV from a prostitute over there and his dad had to go over there since he knows a cure for it. His uncle is cured and the remedy was some plants that grow over there. My friend told me that cambodians have a song that contains all the plants needed to cure it.

    But I dunno if that helps since many of these "eastern" medicines aren't really scientifically proven to work or not.
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    HIV is, by definition, a virus. To this layman, it looks like medical science has made some real strides in the battle against viruses during my lifetime. Polio and influenza vaccines have literally changed the world from the way it was in my childhood. Virus research may provide the solution to HIV. Unfortunately vaccines do nothing for people already infected, but they do a hell of a good job for everyone else. As bittersweet a victory as that is, it wipes out an epidemic of frightening scope in a single generation.

    Not that I've given up hope on finding a cure for HIV, or herpes, or cancer, or any other virus infection. As the 18th was the Century of Mathematics, the 19th was the Century of Chemistry, and the 20th was the Century of Physics, the 21st may shape up to be the Century of Medicine. Still, a reasonable prediction is that we'll develop vaccines to protect our grandchildren from contracting those diseases before we develop medications to cure our children who already have them.

    Other than that, I don't see any non-medical vectors for dealing with this problem. Sexual behavior is too primal a drive in our species -- as it is with most mammals -- to be modified by outright fear, much less education or legislation. An illness that is as contagious as HIV, that is spread by sexual intercourse, that can be passed from one partner to another for months or even years before the symptoms are evident, and that can't be cured, is an epidemiologist's worst nightmare.

    All I can say is that this is one of those news items that makes me glad for a moment to be an old man in a monogamous relationship. To be young and horny and looking for someone to share those traits with was a recipe for frequent disaster forty years ago simply because of the emotional issues and the threat of venereal diseases that seem positively tame today. Today it looks more like Russian roulette with at least two bullets in the cylinder.

    Getting a blood test, choosing your partner wisely, using condoms, these are all risk-reducing strategies from a public health perspective, but not reliable enough to be very reassuring at the individual level. Preaching abstinence to adolescents is about as futile as telling a dog to stop eating stool: it's an instinct, stupid! And the whole condom strategy rules out oral sex, which is going to leave a huge segment of the female population pretty unsatisfied.

    I don't believe things are going to get better until we finally develop a reliable vaccine, and do a far better job of distributing it in the Third World than we usually do with food and other aid.

    Until then, try monogamy. Even if you screw up and pick the wrong partner, it's still a hell of a lot better than abstinence
  10. FiReaNGeL Registered Member

    Thanks for the opinion, Fraggles Rocker. Education, monogamy, abstinence before you're ready to be responsible (i.e : protect yourself) goes a long way in protecting from HIV-1. In most developed countries, you gotta have a very active (and dangerous) sex life, or be extremely unlucky. In most underdeveloped countries, lack of education, traditions (dry sex anyone?), religious beliefs and prostitution are the principal problems.

    And DeadWood, if I was your uncle, I'd get tested again. Either he never had HIV-1, or still has. Considering (World Health Organization data) :

    Assessment of the epidemiological situation 2004
    Rapid increases in HIV transmission have been reported in Cambodia since the first case of HIV infection was notified in 1991. By 2003, an estimated 170,000 adults were living with HIV infection and AIDS. Prevalence among those aged 15 to 49 years is estimated to be 2.7%. HIV is transmitted primarily through sexual contact. The prevalence among ANC attendees have been declining in the last few years in the capital from 4.9% in 1999 to 3.5% in 2002. However the highest HIV prevalence is observed among female sex workers (18.5% among direct sex workers and 13.8% among indirect sex workers in 2002) in the capital. Among TB patients in Phonm Phem 16.% were HIV positive in 2002.

    STI are highly prevalent. Condom use is increasing (consistent use with commercial sex partners increased from 62% in 1997 to 78% in 1999 among Direct sex workers; from 65.4% in 1997 to 81% in 1999 among police personnel). In 1999, Gonococcal antimicrobial resistance is high for both penicillin (79%) and quinolones (53%).
  11. A Canadian Why talk? When you can listen? Registered Senior Member


    Hmmm.... I think it is called a condom.
    As anyone heard of this?

    We can stop the spread of these diseases before we will find a cure for it….

  12. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    I just have a hard time getting all excited about finding a cure for a disease that’s almost 100% preventable. Don’t get me wrong, it would be great if someone came up with a cure, but it seems like maybe we should focus primarily on the diseases that you can’t protect yourself from with a few rudimentary precautions. You can live a responsible, healthy life and still lose the cancer lottery through no fault of your own. HIV, on the other hand, almost always requires active negligence on your part before you’re at risk.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2004
  13. Votorx Still egotistic... Valued Senior Member

    Normal people? What's that suppose to mean?

    Non-experts...I believe there are quite a few experts on here and many whom can qualify as an "expert" but anyways what have you done to cure this virus anyways?

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