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Christopher Nicklin

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AIDS has now been on the world’s radar for the past couple of decades. The virus

has been the topic of political and religious debates. As of right now it is estimated that

ADIS has killed over twenty-five million people worldwide since it was considered an

epidemic. Over thirty-three million people are currently infected. AIDS is the final

incarnation of the HIV virus. This particular virus attacks the immune system and makes

it susceptible to other infections and diseases. With this virus being such a problem

scientists are constantly researching ways to develop an AIDS vaccine. There are two

views of whether AIDS is a curable disease. Some question if it is even possible to stop

the replication of the AIDS virus.

One recent study has shown that it may be possible to cure AIDS. The vaccine

uses the disease called Cytomegalo virus. Cytomegalo virus is a form off the herpes

virus. Because it is from the Herpes family once it is contracted it lives in the body for

the rest of the person’s life. This enables the immune system to be on full alert for the

AIDS virus at all times because it is also is on high alert for Cytomegalo virus. Also it

trains the body to destroy the virus when it first enters the body, when it is most

susceptible. CMV would have to be weakened before it enters the body so that once it

enters the body it will not give the patient symptoms of that disease as well. As of right

now it is been studied in the monkey rhesus macaques. Over half the infected monkeys

showed no sign of AIDS once given the vaccine.

Others think curing this virus is impossible and they have good reason to think

this. One of the reasons is AIDS is highly mutative. Because of its great ability to adapt
and survive it can stay in the body and multiple without any danger of being destroyed.

Even all the disease-modifying drugs today cannot stop the virus from spreading through

the system. They only slow down the virus’s replication process. This means that

prevention drugs are not even able to kill the virus, they are only able to slow it down

from spreading. Researchers also are saying that there is nothing to get excited over when

a drug shows new promise because it has been said so many times. Researches back in

1988 even said that they would be able to cure the disease in two years, and clearly that

did not happen.

Because the disease has the ability to adapt researchers believe that it will be able

to adapt to any drug therapy that is made for it. Some strains are already shows some

resistance to typical therapies to this disease. It is not even just the disease that is a

problem but how society will react to the disease. There is evidence that if a vaccine for

AIDS were developed that perversity in society would be on a dramatic increase. This

development would combat any positive affects that the drug would have. Also along

those lines, if it was a vaccine that need to be taken every three to five years the

likelihood is that third world countries would not have the resources to keep the

population vaccinated, which would dramatically increase the chances of the disease

mutating to be resistant to the drug. In the end it seems like it is not just being able to find

a cure for the drug. It is more about being able to find a cure for economic problems and

society, which have a huge potential of affecting any vaccine made.

The next steps on researching this topic would be finding out exactly how these

modified disease vaccines work and exactly how the CMV is different from other

possible vaccines. Also I would be curious on finding out how these drugs will attack the
AIDS virus. For example, does it attack the virus’s cell wall or some how get inside it.

These would all be interesting directions to take the research.

Bibliography

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dugdale, dale. "AIDS - PubMed Health." National Center for Biotechnology Information.

N.p.,n.d.Web.22Oct.2011. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001620/>.

Fornseca, Maria. "Modeling HIV Vaccines in Brazil: Assessing the Impact of a Future

HIV Vaccine on Reducing New Infections, Mortality and Number of People Receiving

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<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2909197/>.

Hecht, Robert, and Gian Gandhi. "Demand Forecasting for Preventive AIDS Vaccines:

Economic and Policy Dimensions." PharmacoEconomics 26.8 (2008): 679,679-97.

ProQuest. Web. 22 Oct. 2011.


Smith, RJ. "Could disease-modifying HIV vaccines cause... [Lancet Infect Dis. 2004] -

PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 22

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