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Throw In The Towel?

Is it time to give up on finding a vaccine for AIDS?

If the animal model is useless, that's going to make it very hard to test new ones. The only ethical way to do it would be to work with people who engage in risky behavior, and that's going to be very problematic in terms of getting credible results.


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Fletcher Christian wrote:

Yes, it is, given that a huge proportion (90% or more) of the problem is transmission caused by risky behaviours - and now, after twenty years of publicity, everyone (at least in the West) knows what those behaviours are, and they are extremely easy to avoid. The problem will solve itself if we let it, especially if sensible precautions are taken by the majority. Darwin wins again.

I already know something about this from personal experience; for various rather unpleasant reasons I have had to have numerous transfusions over the last five years or so. Now, the UK Blood Transfusion Service won't take a blood donation from me - ever again. It's just too risky; I have had upwards of 50 people's blood in me (donations are pooled). A sensible precaution.

If you insist on injecting drugs and sharing needles, or on sodomy without protection, then you shouldn't be bailed out with the aid of billions of dollars/pounds/euros/rubles/whatever of taxpayers' money, when you catch a lethal disease. AIDS isn't the only one, either. Morality (at least sexual morality) has nothing to do with it.

And blood donation services should refuse to take blood from male homosexuals and/or intravenous illegal drug users. Too much risk, whatever you think of the moral side of it. Maybe they already do that, in some places.

I do feel sorry for one group of people; faithful partners (most of them women) who catch HIV from philandering travellers. Apparently, this is the main method of transmission in sub-Saharan Africa; perhaps something should be done about that, but it's for their governments to sort out.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on April 24, 2008 7:50 AM.

Uncomfortable Bedfellows was the previous entry in this blog.

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