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Is There a Cure for AIDS?


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Question: Is There a Cure for AIDS?
In general, AIDS is treatable, but not curable. There has however, been one documented case where a man was actually cured of the disease.

AIDS is a virus and unlike a bacterial infection, it cannot be cured with antibiotics. In the early days of AIDS, the disease was seen as a death sentence. These days, however most health care providers call it a chronic life long condition.

That change came about as a result of the creation of medications that can control the spread of the virus and can treat the symptoms it causes.

Very recently, however, doctors in Germany announced something a lot of people thought was impossible--a case where a patient had been cured of AIDS!

It is important to realize that this is a very unique situation. The man also had leukemia, and as a result, he was given a risky stem cell transplant. The stem cell donor was actually immune to HIV, and by transplanting his cells into a person with AIDS, that recipient also became immune and cured.

Though it is interesting for scientific reasons, it is also important to understand that this one example will not dramatically change the face of AIDS or the course of treatment. First of all, the stem cell transplant actually has a 30% chance of death! That's much higher than the likelihood of immediately dying from AIDS.

Additionally, as the guide to gay life explains:

"The chances of a patient finding a good tissue match that is also naturally resistant to HIV is rare. Not to mention the cost of such a procedure is out of reach for many, including the millions infected in sub-Saharan Africa. Could the expense of this procedure open the door for a cure only for the most wealthy and privileged? Could those without sufficient resources once again fall victim to not the lack of technology, but a deficit in funding?"

This case is captivating, but it won't be relevant for the vast majority of people. Because of that it is important to continue to practice safer sex, and to remember that AIDS is still a very serious illness.

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