Saturday, July 17, 2010

Do all AIDS researchers want a cure?

Here at the HIV reservoirs workshop in Vienna, I just spoke to a Dutch researcher. I asked him when he thought there would be a functional cure for AIDS and he said never. He said he is explicitly not interested in finding a cure for AIDS; he is interested in host-virus interactions only. When I seemed surprised, he said--"If I were interested in a particular result, I would prejudice the experiment." He said, "If I were trying to cure some disease, which one would I pick? I'd be lost in the choices. Besides, the best thing to do if you are interested in ending the epidemic is to work in prevention!

I asked if he had ever met a person with AIDS, and he mentioned the patients in his community advisory board. He didn't sound very impressed.

1 comment:

Loreen Willenberg said...

Hi Kate,
I believe the Dutch researcher holds a minority opinion insofar as achieving a 'functional cure' for HIV/AIDS. His view is obviously very narrow (host-viral interaction, indeed) and doesn't have a clue what it's like living with the infection. I've had the pleasure to meet many, many researchers here and abroad who are dedicated to making discoveries toward the cure, functional or otherwise.

I appreciate your blog pieces, including your photos. For those of us here at home, you help to share the view from Vienna.

My best,