Monday, November 28, 2005

We can whip AIDS

So says Dr. Robert Gallo. In this season of thanksgiving and brotherly love, coming hard upon World AIDS Day and its emphasis on keeping the promise, this is good to hear. Kudos to Gallo for saying it; kudos to Newsweek for publishing it. But . . .

I read and re-read Gallo's statement--agreeing with just about every word--but still could find no mention of a key component of whipping the crapdoodle out of AIDS right now with what we have at hand. Can you spell P-R-E-V-E-N-T-I-O-N?

Not that there is anything to complain about when Gallo brings up the problem of complacency and the real need to find a vaccine. We are daily confronted with new warnings of impending disasters in the war against microbes, so it important for someone of Gallo's stature to remind us all that complacency is also a risky behavior and that the ROI for an AIDS vaccine will be incredibly huge--for society if not for the manufacturer.

Still, I can't help but cavil that part of the promise that we should be pointing out this week is to provide science-based solutions to HIV. This includes factual, accurate, science-based information to everyone who needs it (meaning everyone) about HIV transmission and prevention. And then, we need the tools for prevention: condoms, clean needles, and honesty.

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