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How was the AIDS epidemic reversed?

How was the AIDS epidemic reversed? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The breakthrough came in 1996, when a new class of antiretroviral drug called protease inhibitors was launched. These were used in combination with two older drugs that worked in different ways. The combination meant that evolving resistance required the simultaneous appearance of several beneficial (from the virus’s point of view) mutationswhich is improbable.  With a viable treatment available, political action became more realistic. AIDS had been a “political” disease from the beginning, because a lot of the early victims were middle-class gay Americans, a group already politically active. Activists were split between those who favoured treating people already infected and those who wanted to stop new infections. The latter were more concerned to preach the message of safe sex and make condoms widely available, so that people could practise what was preached. Gradually, however, activists on both sides realised that the drugs, by almost abolishing the virus from a sufferer’s body, also render him unlikely to pass it on. They are, in other words, a dual-use technology."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The article in the Economist points to the successes the international scientific community has made to minimize the impact of AIDS, but some doctors have wondered, "but what if AIDS didn't impact the wealthy and politically active?"  In this op-ed, a doctor says that medicine is just for those that can afford it because many pharmaceutical companies aren't interested in developing treatments for tropical diseases. 


Tags: AIDS, Africa, medical, development, diffusion.

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Christian Allié's curator insight, March 17, 2014 5:58 AM
Seth Dixon's insight:

The article in the Economist points to the successes the international scientific community has made to minimize the impact of AIDS, but some doctors have wondered, "but what if AIDS didn't impact the wealthy and politically active?"  In this op-ed, a doctor says that medicine is just for those that can afford it because many pharmaceutical companies aren't interested in developing treatments for tropical diseases.


C Allié

.......... 

We need to find new ways of paying for research that do not force a choice between developing a drug and making it widely available. This idea is nothing extraordinary; there are already alternative ideas out there - models such as prize funds - that reward new discoveries through substantial financial payouts, paid on the condition that the drug is immediately open to price-lowering market competition.

 

There comes a time when we need to collectively look at a system and realise that it is no longer fit for purpose. Current R&D models for new medicines are not working; not for the world's poor, nor for you and I. It is time to get angry, to demand change. The poor are no longer far away, passive and prepared to die slowly of an illness we can cure. They demand change and so should everyone.

 

Dr Manica Balasegaram is the Executive Director of Medecins Sans Frontieres' Access Campaign; based in Geneva, he helps campaign for better tools and access to medicines, particularly for the developing world. He has worked as a doctor in MSF field projects in Uganda, Sudan, Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, India and Bangladesh.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/03/medicine-just-those-who-can-aff-201431181911299288.html

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 3:22 PM

As the article states, the AIDS virus was not known to the science community during the diseases' first years of emergance, but thanks to science, research was put on the forefront to stop AIDS. Unfortunately, the Disease is still incurable, but as the author says, some cases of the virus disappearing from the sufferers' body, it gives hope that a cure may be found someday. The AIDs virus will always be a hot topic and is referred to as the "Political" disease and must pose a threat to rich people in order for the pharmaceutical companies to develop cures.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 12:52 AM

This article discusses the recent treatments and their success in treating AIDs. For many years AIDs spread rapidly across Africa and even today it still spreads, luckily two things have begun to slow down it's advance. Both the increase in the use of contraception such as condoms which protect against AIDs as well as the production of antibiotics  made available to many at risk of AIDs. This shows that with decent government backing it is possible to stem outbreaks such as this.

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