posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:49 AM
Deharg, excellent post!
What people often do not realize is that a "cure" is a long time away, and prevention is currently the single most viable way to see any reduction
in the spread of HIV infection globally. Currently, there are vaccinations for certain forms of viral infections such as HPV, Influenza, Smallpox,
Polio, etc. However, contrary to popular belief there are really no "cures" to viral infection in the human body. Vaccines are nothing more than
organically deadened or synthetically grown viral strains that are injected so the body is able to recognize the virus and fight it off once it enters
your body. Essentially vaccines are nothing more than a "booster" if you will, that allows your body to provide extra defense in case of a viral
attack. Being that HIV is in a seperate class of viruses known as retroviruses, which primarily attack specific immune system cells known as CD4+
Lymphocytes, it becomes extremely difficult to develop an effective vaccine due to the nature of these particular cells and the current mutation rate
at which HIV replicates.
Point in case, most current vaccines consist of one particular strain of each virus. Meaning that ONE vaccine can help you fight off ONE strain of a
particular virus, and this is why people have to have several vaccination shots for viruses such as Influenza throughout their lives. HIV behaves in
a completely different manner than most viruses and by the time it has neared the finish line, a person will have close to or more than 900 Billion
strains of HIV in the human body. This mutation rate is astounding, and an effective vaccine would have to account for all these strains. Not only
that, but because HIV uses its mRNA to recombinate with cellular DNA, the virus actually uses parts of your cells during the replication
process...meaning that part of your genetic makeup is contained in each seperate virus. The development of an effective vaccine would not only have
to account for all 900 +/- Billion strains per person, but also cover the entire genetic makeup of the human global population...yet another feat that
is next to impossible.
Yes, research into an effective vaccine is where current medical research should be headed and is in fact headed that way. However, prevention
against the spread of HIV is the best method currently avaliable and only through education (and correct education at that) can we all work to stop
the spread of HIV. If anyone is concerned enough about this issue I would suggest discussing it with anyone you can, wherever you can, and by
whatever means you can. Getting rid of the stigma that surrounds this disease is the first step in the long struggle to reduce the amount of