Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"You Only Need One Talking Dog to Know that a Dog Can Talk."- Jon Cohen

So the Kaiser Foundation made videos during the Vienna AIDS Conference--videos that apparently nobody is watching. This one is with Jon Cohen, the famous Science reporter who has been covering AIDS since at least 1990. On July 19, 2010, he talks about AIDS cure research starting at 5:02 minutes in (though the first part, about global AIDS funding, is interesting too). So far, only 8 people have viewed the thing, so maybe together we can spike that number.

I attended the basic science pre-conference that he describes, and that is what I have been blogging about (and I'm not finished yet). And we at the AIDS Policy Project are excited that the organizers are going to keep having those AIDS cure basic science conferences--a big step forward in the effort to find a cure.

We're a little more optimistic than he is about the prospects for a sterilizing cure (no HIV anywhere in your body) because of the example of the Berlin Patient. As Jon himself puts it, "You only need one talking dog to know that a dog can talk."  

Our strongly held view is that researchers shouldn't start out trying to find a cheap cure; that they shouldn't tie one hand behind their backs. They should develop any safe and effective cure, first. If it turns out to be tricky to administer and expensive to produce, we will all work together to simplify it and bring down the cost and make it accessible to the masses of people--as we did for AIDS drugs in Africa. And meanwhile, other curative therapies may come along that are simpler and cheaper.

After all, a year of AIDS drugs used to cost, what? $15,000 per year in Africa, and require refrigeration. Not anymore.

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