posted on Jul, 18 2012 @ 02:32 AM
The AIDS epidemic: Beginning of the end?
The only questions, says AIDS researcher Diane Havlir, are "Do we have the will to do it?" and "Who is going to pay for it?"
Doctors can now prescribe drug cocktails that reduce the amount of AIDS virus in a patients' body to undetectable levels. Landmark research funded by
the National Institutes of Health show that these patients are not only healthier, but virtually non-contagious.
Do these drug cocktails not harm the body in any other ways?
If everything stated is true... then to consider that people's will, and the ability to pay for it are the only things standing in the way. I'd
say, that speaks volumes as to the current state of humanity(which has always been) and misplaced incentives.
Just think about it... we as a species, find it more important to depend on monetary systems for our prosperity, than collectively addressing such
things as AIDS. I don't know, it just seems counter productive to me.
"There are big gaps between what we have the potential to do in terms of prevention, and what we're actually accomplishing," says Adaora Adimora, a
professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. "We need to be able to get treatment to more people who need it, and make sure that care
is delivered to them properly."
What sets AIDS apart from other diseases in American history — and even other infectious diseases such as polio or tuberculosis — is that it
disproportionately affects people who are on the margins of society, such as gays, minorities and the poor, Lennox says.
Nearly half of all new HIV infections are in blacks, according to the CDC.
Researchers who've examined why HIV has taken hold in minority communities have found no major differences in sexual practices, such as the number of
partners or use of condoms. The major difference explaining why blacks and Hispanics have higher rates of HIV infections, Lennox says, is that they
are so much more likely to be poor.
So, higher social inequality... is conducive towards higher rates of HIV infections... who would have thought? Interestingly enough, the countries
with the lowest levels of social inequality, are those with the highest life expectancies... who would have thought?
Testing and treating people saves both money and lives, however, Mermin says. A CDC program to expand HIV testing helped diagnose 18,000 people,
saving an estimated $2 for every $1 spent, he says, partly by slowing disease spread.
The medical system also makes it tough for patients to get care, Lennox says.
About 30% of HIV patients receive care through Medicaid, the government program for the poor, children and disabled.
"Our health care system is set up at every point to put a barrier in somebody's way, to make them go through a lot of hoops to get care," Lennox
says. To get free AIDS drugs, "a homeless person in Atlanta has to prove they are a resident of Fulton County, so they need a letter from a shelter.
Then they have to prove they didn't file tax returns."
To prevent HIV-infected patients from deteriorating, and spreading the disease, Lennox says, "Why not say, 'Anyone with HIV, we will use federal
money to get you on treatment as soon as possible. Then, if we find out you had insurance, we will take action at that point.' Instead, we make
people jump through dozens of hoops, unless they are emergently sick," Lennox says. "So any logical person will say, 'I will stay out of care.' A
normal healthy person who is a college graduate has trouble navigating this system, and we are requiring that people do this who have mental
So... within monetary driven societies, are individuals willing to pay for what it takes to all but eliminate HIV from the public? The large problem
I see, is misappropriations of funds...
I wonder, if enough people donated their time... how long would it truly take to test every single individual on Earth? Just think... UPS donates the
ability to transport, labs around the world donate their time, and a public campaign was amassed... I swear, the world could have HIV all but taken
care of within months. Make the effort large enough, and remove the role of monetary. Maybe a stretch... I may be an 'idealist', but it seems to
me, that if we were to take care of this issue... it would only boost economic activity, as people and governments wouldn't be spending as much on
HIV in the near future.