Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Likely Cure For AIDS Accomplished By German Doctors

In this one instance, it sounds likely. But most people probably would not want to go through what this patient underwent to be cured, given that there are other treatments that effectively stop the progress of the disease:

Doctors in Berlin, working with an American patient with both HIV and leukemia, have declared in a peer-reviewed journal that they believe they have cured both illnesses. It would be the first time an HIV patient has been cured.


`` `Cured' is a strong word. But this is very encouraging,'' said Dr. David Scadden, co-director of the Harvard University Stem Cell Institute. ``From all indications, there was no residual virus. It's as good an outcome as one could hope.'' 


``I would call this a functional cure,'' said Dr. Margaret Fischl, pioneering AIDS researcher at the University of Miami. ``It's on the level and a very remarkable case. But would we do this with an HIV patient? No.''

The treatment is too radical, its side effects too harsh for general use, Fischl said. Still, it opens up new avenues for researchers to create more practical cures, she said.


Read the linked article for more specifics about the patient and the apparent cure. It sounds as if it's on the level, but extremely hard on the patient.

A lot of my friends, especially in the musical community, are or were gay. I say "were" because a few of them died of AIDS. I can never forget... OK, I can never forgive... Ronald Reagan for his refusal even to speak the word, let alone allow government funding of research, for eight years. Given how far behind American researchers were even back then, I am not at all surprised that this first apparently genuine cure was achieved by German doctors.

Truly, in many of the most critical cases, the personal is political. And the political is often enough deplorable.


  1. Hi, Steve.

    This is a promising story and you did the right thing to put it into context with the beginning of the political fight over the disease back in Reagan's day.

    OT: I got your message and the seventeen different projects I have going at any given time are going to have to wait while I respond to you. I'm glad that you're mobile again and still blogging.

    I can't imagine going back to my blog, but I also can't get myself to write the closing post. Perhaps I lack the courage to do it, but it just seems that signing off publicly would give me the desire to renew the venture.

    My blog was started in opposition to the Bush administration. Some of its final posts exposed an overly joyous response to Obama's election; but I knew then that there was not much change or hope to find in the Democratic establishment and that my joy was really at the defeat of the Republican machine. Even so, it's dismal and deflating to see just how low Obama is willing to go to appease the Republicans; how he pursues some of Bush's worst policies (on torture, Afghanistan, "war on terror," drones running wild, unfair taxation, etc.) with even more fervor than Bush ever did.

    None of this, however, is a reason for my not blogging. I'm just caught up in learning Japanese and fighting my own fights here in Japan, the biggest of which is the institutional anti-foreigner discrimination I face in my workplace (and occasionally on the streets). I also focus most of my writing on academic matters that, while they hardly garner an audience more numerous than my blog ever did, still help me to stay informed, clarify my thoughts, and chalk up merit points for my modest career.

    Thanks for keeping up your blog and for keeping in touch over the years.

  2. The political is always person, an understanding many of my Buddhist friends refuse to face. Many of us are on the brink of leaving blogging. If I were thirty years younger I'd join a resistance cell. Meanwhile I just get older and more cranky. And Terrette, "Gambate yo!"

  3. terrette, it's good to see you. I'd have replied sooner, but Blogger decided your message is spam, for reasons I can't claim to understand, so I didn't see it until about an hour ago.

    I'll write you an extended reply this evening or tomorrow morning. Right now I have to monitor some buttermilk whole wheat bread in progress...

  4. mandt, I confess I now blog mainly for my own stress release; I have no notion of saving the world as I once did. Sooner or later, if we don't stop blogging, it will be stopped for us, if not by legal injunction then by practical limitations on our bandwidth perpetrated by the foes of net neutrality. If the right-wing don't git ya, then the third way will...



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