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Why can not an end to HIV Virus? Answered


HIV is not a conventional virus - its a class of virus we didn't even really know existed before HIV was discovered by Montagnier, its a retro-virus. Its replicating code is hidden in RNA, not DNA, and our normal techniques for making vaccines don't work for retro-viruses. Retroviruses can mutate much more easily than DNA viruses too, so chasing one traget with a drug can be a mistake, unless its in an area that doesn't change much.

HIV has been around since the fifties,Montagnier was the first to put a name to it.

HIV has probably been around even longer than that - I've seen genetic studies that indicate it mutated from SIV and became transmissible to humans in the late 19th century.

The HIV strain is indeed a mutation of SIV, during the great Polio outbreaks there were two competing vaccines in development. One was a dead virus vaccine being developed by Jonas Salk and a live virus vaccine by competing scientist.Ultimately Salks dead vaccine won government approval due to it's low cost and ease of manufacture.The proponent of the live vaccine was convinced his was better and continued his research in Africa, the process involved the extraction of the live virus from the livers of healthy monkeys.His work took years and due to the unavailability of healthy monkey's continued on with Chimpanzees,he eventually developed his live vaccine and it went to human trials. Unfortunately many of the Chimps delivered to him were sick with or were carriers of the SIV virus( a sickness particular to Chimps) and thus the live Polio vaccine he conducted human trials with was tainted with Chimp SIV. which had mutated and crossed over to humans into what we know today as HIV .

Why can not a better worded question?
More details please, I will not be guessing at what you want.



7 years ago

why stop evolution

Because evolution doesn't need homo sap, but we sorta want to survive. And evolution is _messy_; trial and error with a heck of a lot of error.

Remember, in evolutionary terms, sentience has not been around long enough to prove it has significant survival value. It has proven to be great for killing off other species, but it may turn out to be less useful in evolutionary terms than a better immune system or the ability to hibernate. Our global population boom may yet hit a population bust ... and since our civilization has been feeding on local variations in entropy -- concentrations of minerals and energy and so on -- by scattering them evenly across the planet, it would be far more difficult for a technological civilization to bootstrap itself back up again.

You can't stop evolution, by definition. You _can_ direct it to some degree by deciding which pressures you want to accept and which you want to avoid.

I won't cover the biological reasons: everyone else got that one done.

I would personally say the main problem with viri that can't be cured, is the control of transmission. It grinds my gears that in parts of the world where HIV/AIDS are rampant, causing more devastation than any 'physical' natural disaster could...certain mindsets, religions, ideologies, socio-political stances et al and just a LACK of EDUCATION are what perpetuate the virus.

Simply distributing/using low-cost protection can virtually stop (nothing is 100%) the re-transmission of the disease. I won't get into a religion debate here, but if any religion told me I wasn't allowed to use protection from a debilitating, horrific disease, I would tell them where to stick it. Therein lies the problem of education - people don't know how bad it is often until it's too late. People aren't stupid. Give them the choice of life or horribly slow painful death, and see what their response is.

The problem is that certain religions reserve the right to tell everyone else where, when, and how to stick it. ... Yeah, I know; that's my last word on that subject right now.

Agreed. I didn't allude to the problem with education being religion performing said education...

There are still a lot of diseases modern science can't cure, though it may be able to manage the symptoms.

And some of the old ones are starting to come back, due to a combination of people getting sloppy again (spitting seems to be on the uprise, for example, and vaccinations aren't as universal) and the development of antibiotic-resistant strains (made worse by patient sloppiness again; some patients foolishly stop taking antibiotics before they're completely cured, which of course just means selecting for the more resistant organisms.)

Viruses are difficult to treat in general, except by suppressing the symptoms while the body deals with them. HIV is particularly nasty because it attacks the body systems which would normally be responsible for producing the antibodies needed to stop the infection -- the name stands for "human immunodeficiancy virus", which is a short way of saying exactly that.

There are a few drugs which specifically suppress retroviruses, and some of them are useful for HIV patients.There are drugs which can manage some of the other infections which take advantage of an HIV patient's weakened state. But there isn't a cure yet, and retroviruses are harder than most to create vaccines for.

So: Why not? We don't know how. Yet.