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Archived Comments for: Finding a cure for HIV: will it ever be achievable?

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  1. IAT - Better Late than Never

    Donald Forsdyke, Queen

    25 January 2011

    It is surprising that finding "a cure for HIV is even more urgent now, in 2010, the ever before." Some of us who confronted AIDS in the 1980s thought that finding a cure was immensely urgent then.

    From the elementary biology of retroviruses, we knew (i) that vaccination was unlikely to be successful, ii) that the wiley virus would eventually out-circle combination therapies, and (iii) that the stalling point would likely be latency (see Medical Hypothesis 34, 24-27, in my AIDS webpages). Subsequent events, succinctly outlined by Lewin et al. in their paper, have only served to underline these truths.

    While ultimately it will be historians of science who figure it out, it seems to me that those who followed the vaccination and combination therapy routes garnered all the funds, leaving those of us trying to understand latency out in the cold. Happily at this late hour, our approach is gathering support. Immune Activation Therapy (IAT), with drugs such as prostatin, look promising. And agonists of Toll-like receptor 5 (Burdelya, L. G. et al. (2008) Science 320, 226-230) may also prove of value.

    Donald R. Forsdyke, Department of Biochemistry, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada

    Competing interests