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Gene Therapy May Thwart HIV

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the genes-need-to-talk-about-their-feelings-too dept.

Biotech 171

sciencehabit writes "Over the past few years, a man living in Berlin, Timothy Brown, has become world famous as the first — and thus far only — person to apparently have been cured of his HIV infection. Brown's HIV disappeared after he developed leukemia and doctors gave him repeated blood transfusions from a donor who harbored a mutated version of a receptor the virus uses to enter cells. Now, researchers report promising results from two small gene-therapy studies that mimic this strategy, hinting that the field may be moving closer to a cure that works for the masses."

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171 comments

Man if it cures HIV (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37450954)

Then you know what it will do? Put thousands of people out of work!

Think of the Pharmacists!

Re:Man if it cures HIV (1)

DataDiddler (1994180) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450994)

I'll trade in the pharmacists for unfettered, unprotected sex for all. A world without STDs would be an awesome world, indeed. Seinfeld's dream of an intercourse hello would be realized.

Time for Captain Obvious (2)

erice (13380) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451088)

I'll trade in the pharmacists for unfettered, unprotected sex for all. A world without STDs would be an awesome world, indeed. Seinfeld's dream of an intercourse hello would be realized.

Um. HIV is one that gives people the chills today but there are other STD's. Some, like genital herpes are highly contageous and incurable. Hepatitis C is less contageous but also incurable and potentially lethal. There are even antibiotic resistance forms of gonorrhea.

Re:Time for Captain Obvious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451330)

I'll bite.

Hey, moron, it's called sarcasm. Try it sometime, you might learn a little.

Re:Time for Captain Obvious (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451644)

Genital herpes is a non issue for the most part.... its a bad example, but you are still right though. Sifilis, although curable, if it goes undetected can even cause dementia given enough time. Papiloma Virus can cause cancer and kill you even if you are a man... and a host others.

Its great they if they could cure HIV because its expensive to treat, terribly painful and even its most advanced treatment as it is, guarantees nothing much (treatment itself is toxic and you have to take it for life) plus you remain infectious (although it can be reduced). And thats the biggest problem: its impossible to detect without proactive testing and can remain so for years. And all that time, the sick is infectious.

So yeah, no thoughtless condomless sex for anyone, but yeah, lets cure this thing. Its a danger to everyone.

Re:Time for Captain Obvious (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37452218)

So yeah, no thoughtless condomless sex for anyone, but yeah, lets cure this thing. Its a danger to everyone.

Unfortunately there's plenty of that right now for many people - it just has consequences.

No way! (1)

kusanagi374 (776658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451092)

Hold it right there!

As if HIV was the only STD and the others weren't dangerous or troublesome. Even today, HIV is the least of my concern. There is also HepB/C, HPV, Herpes, Syphilis... And unlike HIV, the infections usually come and go and you never know if you're still transmitting or if it'll get worse and cause cancer after a few decades (Hepatitis and HPV, specifically) either to you or your loved one.

Re:No way! (1)

DataDiddler (1994180) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451174)

But if you remove HIV you're certainly working towards such an event. I also *might* have been slightly facetious.

Re:No way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451484)

Data, the sarcasm didn't come through. Don't blame them.

Re:No way! (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451372)

Syphilis? Come on man, this isn't the 19th century. You get syphilis you realize it and see a doctor. Some antibiotics later and you are cured. How can you compare that to HIV? Herpes would suck but it's common and controllable.. It doesn't result in slowly wasting away taking 100s of pills a day as you are treated like some sort of leper who is already dead. HPV I believe is already covered by a recent vaccine and hepatitis would suck but you can get it in other ways then sex anyway. HIV is the winner for current most devastating global disease also tied to sex and I don't even know how you could argue otherwise.

Re:No way! (1)

kusanagi374 (776658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451532)

Syphilis = kinda agreed
Herpes = it's annoying as fuck but agreed
HPV = vaccine is only for two types and they are not the ones that cause cancer... the other non-genital types? I don't care about 'em.
HIV = kinda biased, the country where I live in (Brazil) gives away the medication since they broke the patents and chug away low cost pills without paying royalties

I don't know, but it's my opinion that a bomb ticking that you never know if/when it'll hit and take you or someone you love is much worse than something YOU KNOW is there and can easily control it free of cost.

Re:No way! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451650)

You guys also make the best trannies.

Re:No way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37452086)

>Syphilis? Come on man, this isn't the 19th century. You get syphilis you realize it and see a doctor. Some antibiotics later and you are cured.

Yea, and it's not like people have been really careless with antibiotics so an increasing number of infections are turning resistant at a greater rate than we develop new drugs, and it's not as if some people develop allergic reactions or serious side effects to the ones that do work, and it's not like syphilis is much more contagious than HIV , or have initial symptoms that could easily be confused for dry or irritated skin making it go untreated until it gets really bad, or irritates the genitals as to make other STDs more likely to transmit , or can cause sterility before the symptoms are obvious enough for you to seek help, or can be absolutely devastating to the imunosupressed, or has a possibility of being dislodged into the blood stream, causing sepsis...

HIV is a serious diagnosis, but bacterial infections in the genital area are really not all that fun.

Re:No way! (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37452320)

Actually, you could probably argue that there's a certain amount of de-facto herd immunity in places with antibiotic abuse, simply because people who get infected by syphilis are likely to come down with a sore throat or upper respiratory infection, and head home with a prescription for some powerful broad-spectrum antibiotic likely to blow the syphilis away with trivial ease long before they ever realized they HAD syphilis. Apparently, syphilis is pretty easy to cure, and even penicillin is good enough to do the job in most cases (let alone something like Levaquin, Zithromax, Velosef, Biaxin, or Keflex).

Re:Man if it cures HIV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451418)

I'm going to guess that the threat of HIV is not what is keeping you from getting laid...

Re:Man if it cures HIV (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451708)

Actually maybe not so much. Then you will have to deal with even a faster rate of population growth. STDs in modern times seem to help to slow population growth in a crude way. Also people use more condoms and thereby reduce the rate of pregnancies. So you have a few factors at play.

Re:Man if it cures HIV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451732)

Barely 20 years into the first sexual revolution, we get STDs that can kill. You wanna go down that road again???

Man keeps coming up with these brilliant ideas. Germs keep coming up with ways to make them look not-so-brilliant.

Oh, and let's see how long the era of antibiotics really lasts. Longer than the sexual revolution so far; but still just a blip on the evolutionary timescale.

The only silver lining is that we can stop worrying about silly stuff like AGW when a deady airborn antibiotic resistant strain of something culls 1/3rd of the global population.

The first sexual revolution? (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 2 years ago | (#37452404)

The 60s had nothing on the 20s; and the last decade looks uptight and repressive compared to the 50s.
As counter to modern culture as it may seem, it was well understood how much fun sex was a very long time ago.

In terms of monetizing sex, well that is quite the revolution.....

Re:Man if it cures HIV (1)

CruelKnave (1324841) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451250)

I know you're joking, but I really wouldn't put it past them. The world has seen greed turn a profit on suffering before, and I really wouldn't be surprised if something came about to hinder the development or application of a cure, if one is ever reached.

Re:Man if it cures HIV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37452148)

I for one welcome our pharma-overload, Dr. Eugene "Gene" Therapy, MD.

Is it too early to printing "Re-elect 'Gene' Therapy for President - 2016" bumperstickers?

No cure, ever. Not in America. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37450956)

Doctors do not cure. Not in America. They treat. They can't make a money off of you for as long as you live if they cure you. If they treat you, they can milk you until you die.

Doctors don't cure.

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451004)

Doctors don't make medicine, last I checked.

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451034)

Really? The people that develop drugs don't have doctorates?

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451086)

Pretty sure GP meant physician.

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (0)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451370)

Actually, GP means 'general practitioner'... but close enough. :)

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451580)

By GP he meant "grandparent".

You post.
I reply, I am the child post.
You reply. You are my child post. You are the grandchild post of your first post. That post is your GP or grandparent post.

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (2)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451028)

Well shit, I guess I still have malaria.

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451156)

Doctors didn't invent trees. The cure existed before the doctors stamped the "Made in the USA" on it.

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451334)

Pretty sure GP said they can't cure paranoia. ;)

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451048)

You, sir, are a jackass.

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451224)

Your conspiracy theorist is showing.

There are numerous disorders and diseases that can be cured today which could not be even 200 years ago... admittedly, no treatment has 100% success though, nor can it.

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451326)

Like what? It's nice to say they've developed a cure, but you don't mention any. And comparing 200 years ago with today is pretty silly. You also say that they have cures, but then immediately switch over to "treatment". I'm not talking about continually taking drugs to suppress the symptoms of something. An actual cure.

So what have they actually developed a CURE for in the past 25 years in America?

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451466)

So what have they actually developed a CURE for in the past 25 years in America?

Chicken pox. [vaccine.]
HPV. [Vaccine]
hib disease. [Vaccine. OK, 26 years.]

[posting AC because I've been moderating here]

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451490)

FYI, I'm pretty sure if you post AC you can still mod, but if you mod then post, even as AC, the mods come undone.

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451526)

if you treat symptoms and stop the infections overpowering your immune system, your immune system generally wins.
therefore developing and administering treatments to symptoms can cure some/most diseases.

Brain-dead. (2)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451598)

Doctors do not cure. Not in America. They treat. They can't make a money off of you for as long as you live if they cure you. If they treat you, they can milk you until you die.

Why does something so stupid always modded up to "Insightful?"

The cure means that your patients have a real shot at rebuilding their lives and finances. It means that they will be a candidate for other medical services for perhaps the next half century or more.

The cure opens the door to the understanding and treatment of other diseases.

The cure is elusive. The cure may have side effects. The cure may dangerous. The surgical procedure that a weakened patient may not survive.

The geek doesn't want medicine.

What he wants is magic and miracle at a discount price.

Re:Brain-dead. (0, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451772)

The cure means that your patients have a real shot at rebuilding their lives and finances. It means that they will be a candidate for other medical services for perhaps the next half century or more.

In America, it depends entirely on how much money you make and how you got it. If you're Magic Johnson, then you can pay the exhorbitant treatment costs and people will still love you because you're a celebrity and you got AIDS through normal heterosexual sex and you will still prop up the economy buying nice things.

If you're a poor junkie or middle-class homo, no way. The establishment wants you dead after they milk your meager resources dry while you pay for treatment. It's what you deserve for being a sinner, especially in an environment where people like Bachmann, Perry, and Romney are considered to be serious candidates for president.

Being a poor or middle-class American with AIDS is like being a Jew living in Nazi Germany - your days are numbered.

Re:No cure, ever. Not in America. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451600)

Agreed, this smallpox medicine is costing me a fortune.

Cure for the masses (0)

damicatz (711271) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450964)

The cure may work on the masses but I assure you, the masses won't be able to afford it.

Re:Cure for the masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37450996)

They can't afford trips into space either, but does that mean we should stop trying to develop space technology?

Re:Cure for the masses (1)

greentshirt (1308037) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451320)

S/he didn't say anything about stopping the development of a cure. S/he simply pointed out that it was not likely something that "the masses" would immediately be able to afford.

Re:Cure for the masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451002)

Nobody ever expected computers to be affordable to the masses either.

Re:Cure for the masses (2, Interesting)

damicatz (711271) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451024)

The difference is, with this, all someone has to do is patent the gene and then they can charge whatever they want.

At least with spaceships and computers, you actually have to create something.

Re:Cure for the masses (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451056)

Software patents?

Re:Cure for the masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451530)

aw eff this here we go with software patents again
man can we drop this subject already

Re:Cure for the masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451098)

Exactly. Mbawi in sub-Saharan Africa isn't going to be getting this treatment.

Re:Cure for the masses (3, Insightful)

thehodapp (1931332) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451136)

I doubt not. Think of all the vaccines you're covered by now. Influenza, Polio, Hepatitis, etc. Those don't cost very much. Most Americans can afford those now. The deal with this is that it is probably only going to end up being a few treatments before you're fully cured so medical bills won't rack up. The other thing about this is that HIV is so widespread there will be plenty of donation money for those who can't afford it in the case that the cure turns out to be expensive.

irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37450982)

and he gets hit by a bus the next day.

Re:irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451348)

That's not irony..

Google delta CCR5. This is old. (4, Informative)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450988)

The delta CCR5 mutation was already well known, and the subject of several (at least 4) different experimental receptor blocking and gene therapy medications, all of which were blocked by the FDA citing safety concerns.

This is not meant to be a conspiracy theorist bottom feeding post, but simply intended to inform. There have been many studies of this mutation for thereputic uses conducted in Europe over the past decade, including seeveral promising phase 2 trials.

Like most life saving medications though, any prospective cure for HIV will probably be developed in the US, and approved in Europe. (Then approved in the US after decades of routine use overseas.)

While this particular gene therapy might be new, the mechanism is not novel.

Re:Google delta CCR5. This is old. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451064)

While this particular gene therapy might be new, the mechanism is not novel.

I don't care if they use fire to cure it, as long as it's cured.

Re:Google delta CCR5. This is old. (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451106)

What I am getting at, is that this mechanism has been the subject of clinical trial medications in the past, and refused acceptance every time.

While the delta CCR5 mutation appears benign in humans under most circumstances, the burden of proving such benality imposed by the FDA will likely be insurmountable, and as such, even if this stuff kills off HIV infection in 24 hours of application, it will probably never get approval in the US.

Re:Google delta CCR5. This is old. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451614)

Good point. It's been refused acceptance everytime because it works everytime. That's why this guy is the only one ever to be actually cured therefore he's not the first or only. Just like all the other trials.

If you don't get what I'm hinting at it's that your statement assumes all trials are the same. The other ones didn't work so why should they be accepted? Are you saying the FDA lumps successful and unsuccessful trials into one bin? This one doesn't work. Out. This one works but using the same mechanism as the failed one therefore it's out too?

Re:Google delta CCR5. This is old. (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37452122)

In the cases of receptor blocking medications, there were sticky issues involving elevated liver enzymes, iirc. This caused the fda to reject. (Essentially the blockers are large protiens that bind to the receptor and plug it up like a cork, so the virus cannot dock. The body has to break down these foreign bodies in the liver to eliminate them, which causes elevated liver enzymes. A condition known to induce liver failure. Yes, several distinct medications were blocked by this decision.)

The gene therapy trials were halted, because of issues involving reliability of the gene therapy's proper integration into the host genome in a reliable way. (EG, that the vector was consistent in how it integrated the new gene, and that the process did not increase risks for cancers in already immunosuppressed patients with aids.)

Overshadowing both thorny issues was the question of if the actual deactivation of CCR5 (the mutation deletes a good portion of the gene that produces this receptor, making the cell produce nonfunctional versions) would itself be safe over the long run. Several studies have been comissioned to address this very subject, and initial results indicate that the delta32 CCR5 mutation increases risks of several nasty infectious agents, such as west nile.

Until these issues are addressed, it is unlikey that the US FDA will approve any CCR5 blocking/disrupting medications.

This is why I said that it is likey to be approved in Europe, and not the US.

Re:Google delta CCR5. This is old. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451706)

Which is reasonable. HIV isn't exactly something that is typically spread without some participation on the part of the person contracting the virus. Sure some people genuinely do get it via rape, but the numbers aren't a significant portion of the population.

Messing around with genes is risky business and at this point HIV is similar in danger to diabetes. But, it's also easily preventable and mainly spreads because people are too ignorant and lazy to protect themselves.

Re:Google delta CCR5. This is old. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451880)

Messing around with genes is risky business and at this point HIV is similar in danger to diabetes. But, it's also easily preventable and mainly spreads because people are too ignorant and lazy to protect themselves.

The fiscal impact of treating HIV is far greater than that of treating diabetes. Many cases of diabetes can be controlled by nothing more than exercise and diet. Most other cases are manageable with very cheap pharmaceutical interventions. Meanwhile HAART therapy for HIV costs tens of thousands of dollars per person every year.

Many people who contract HIV are neither stupid nor ignorant, but they are unfortunate enough to live in a country where protection is not available or is socially stigmatized (often due to religions imported from the western world).

As for "messing around with genes", the entire point of clinical trials like these is to determine exactly how risky it is, and the data presented here are fairly encouraging. Exploring outer space is risky business and many forms of professional sports are risky business. Should people cease those activities as well?

Re:Google delta CCR5. This is old. (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37452194)

Many people who contract HIV are neither stupid nor ignorant, but they are unfortunate enough to live in a country where protection is not available or is socially stigmatized (often due to religions imported from the western world) and are having promiscuous sex or sex with promiscuous people.

FTFY. Ok, yeah, people can be born with it (which sucks) or get it through rape or blood transfusions... but simply, you know, restraining yourself and not acting like a rabbit generally makes you invulnerable to, oh, every STD ever. God forbid we should oppose people's right to have as much sex as they want with whomever they want, though. I would argue that having promiscuous sex counts as "stupid" when you can't or don't use protection (or possibly know you partner is clean).

For that matter, HIV is supposed to have originated from monkeys. Yeah, I'll let your mind imagine how an STD migrated from a monkey to a human...

Re:Google delta CCR5. This is old. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37452352)

No need to imagine anything. HIV is more than an STD, it's a bloodborne disease. Bushmeat is commonly consumed in Africa because of either tradition or lack of better dietary options. If a hunter has a cut or a sore and is exposed to monkey blood (very likely given that he/she is you know... hunting) viral transmission is highly likely.

As for your antiquated ideas on promiscuity, I suggest you get a firm grasp on reality and take a look at how successful abstinence-only education has been around the world. Those of us in the medical field are acutely aware of how difficult it is to alter basic human behaviors.

Re:Google delta CCR5. This is old. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451796)

The only cure for infestation is purification by fire!

Re:Google delta CCR5. This is old. (1)

rabtech (223758) | more than 2 years ago | (#37452346)

I might point out that FDA rejection of thalidomide saved thousands of children from being born as flipper babies.

There have been strong calls for informed participation in clinical trials, especially for terminally ill patients. The FDA has been very responsive as far as I am aware.

  I suggest not operating on rumor or whatever Fox News is peddling and check the facts for yourself. It isn't difficult.

The masses? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451076)

Um, I don't think this is going to work for the masses, even if we can now do DNA sequencing for about 1/10th what it cost just two years ago, and we have protein folding solutions for HIV thanks to the work of the UW's Baker Lab and all you great volunteers.

Look, the vast and overwhelming quantity of infections are in areas where not only are people very very poor (no, poorer than that, think a couple hundred dollars a year for a family), but they have 2-3 other major infectious diseases to cope with.

This "solution" may provide promise for First World Nations, and the rich elites in the world, but that's about it.

Sheer economics. Polluted/dirty water is the major problem worldwide, quite frankly, ask any epidemiologist.

Re:The masses? (1)

thehodapp (1931332) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451172)

Although think about the purging of Polio and other 19th century diseases. I can't see a virus that has had this much impact on the world to not be very financially backed by donations and continued research to make the cure cheaper. If this was a lesser known disease, then I might say you were right, but HIV has been a different beast altogether.

Re:The masses? (polio) (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451206)

Polio is back, actually, thanks to anti-immunization Saudi policies.

I'm not saying it's not a good idea, but it is unlikely to provide solutions for the majority of our planet's infected and at-risk populations.

Re:The masses? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451718)

The diseases that catch the imagination aren't necessarily the bad ones. Breast cancer gets considerably more funding and attention than is justified when compared with the mortality rate and ability to treat it.

Just wait (0)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451096)

If this works, five bucks says within a decade there are hoards of twats screaming about all the 'hidden dangers' of the treatment that mainstream science doesn't want you to know and about how AIDS never killed anyone in the first place and claiming it was dropping before the cure. This will happen, especially if it involves gene therapy.

Re:Just wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451218)

Nonsense, why I heard from a UC Berkley professor that HIV doesn't cause AIDS! It's a conspiracy!

Re:Just wait (2, Insightful)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451230)

You're completely forgetting the religious aspect. Only fornicators destined for hell are going to get AIDS. Clearly we need to bomb the free clinic.

Also, it causes autism.

Re:Just wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451436)

Yep, its the goal of medicine. Ridding consequences for immoral behavior. Humans 1, YHWH 0.

Science is the means of G-d-proofing the world so humanity's fun isn't spoiled, DAMMIT!

Science wins again. (0)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451114)

It's posts like that this that make me really smile. Science -- the faithful and playful (but expensive) dog often blamed for farting during dinner even when it was one of the diners -- is responsible for directly raising someone's... and hopefully a lot more people's, over time... quality of life.

I know what's going to happen, though. Some religious person/group will end up trying to take credit. People will say, "God cured him of his HIV"... well, no, the Delta CCR5 mutation cured him. Modern science cured him. To say that "Well, God guides the hand of the doctors..." is a nothing statement that only makes sense if you assume God exists, but if you're going to assume anything why not just counter-assume that Santa Claus cured him.

(weary voice) Go on world, prove me wrong. I'd just love it if you could prove me wrong this time...

Re:Science wins again. (2)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451244)

Jesus! It's not that I don't agree with you more or less, but why don't you and science get a room?

Re:Science wins again. (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451502)

Science has good taste in men, unfortunately... believe me. I've been barking up that tree for ages. ...

I'll be in my bunk.

Re:Science wins again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451518)

Jesus! It's not that I don't agree with you more or less, but why don't you and science get a room?

Jesus is right. While your still secure in your room snuggled closely to parents he at least moved into the basement!

Re:Science wins again. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451856)

I don't understand why a victory for science must be a defeat for religion? (Barring a title reading "It has been demonstrated that any god could not possibly exist, and the god theory has absolutely broken down.")

I mean, the only people I know of that say HIV is only put upon the unjust and they deserve what they get are the nutters - not your normal, everyday person. And the vast majority of people are not atheists - they believe in some form of God or life force. (Yes, vast, even the higher numbers for % of atheists in countries are around 30%)

So why would a cure for HIV change the score to +1 Science, -1 Religion? I would think it would be +1 Humanity - and I'm fairly certain that we *all* fall into that group, regardless of our beliefs.

Re:Science wins again. (1)

rthille (8526) | more than 2 years ago | (#37452156)

The vast majority of humans _are_ atheists (see my .sig), and as far as I'm concerned, if you're over 18 and you believe in a god, you _are_ a nutter.

Small catch (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451158)

The survival rate of a bone marrow transplant is around 40% even in the best hospitals in the world. That he had leukemia (probably chronic myeloid leukemia since that's the most common one that's transplanted) and by happy chance the transplant worked and also by happy chance this cured his HIV is great news for him. However this is not going to be used as standard therapy at all, you have better luck taking the drug regimen. What it might do however (hopefully) is continue to push to improve transplant protocols and thus success rates.

Re:Small catch (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451340)

You might try reading the article.

Re:Small catch (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451790)

From TFA:

The transplant treatment itself, given only to late-stage cancer patients, kills up to 30% of patients.

Good for them if they have such a low mortality. I still don't see it being used regularly with that mortality rate. You are going to kill 1/3 of your patients?

Re:Small catch (2)

rthille (8526) | more than 2 years ago | (#37452164)

No, the treatment they are working on is gene therapy, not the transplant that seems to have cured the man. They are related, but not the same.

Majic Johnson? (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451180)

I thought South Park had definitively proven that Magic Johnson was able to cure his AIDS through all the money he's earned?

This will never see light of day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451190)

No way in hell this will see light of day in north america or possibly rest of the world. Can you imagine all the charities and charitable foundations that would go out of business because of a cure for a major disease? Just like we will never see a cure for all kinds of cancer, or MS, because then people will be out of a job and wont be able to collect money from ppl all in the name of "finding a cure".

Re:This will never see light of day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451352)

No way in hell this will see light of day in north america or possibly rest of the world. Can you imagine all the charities and charitable foundations that would go out of business because of a cure for a major disease?

You do realize that we have cured or developed vaccines for all kinds of diseases, right? The HPV vaccine was approved just a few years ago. Charities don't block cures.

And from a more cynical perspective, you do realize that the best possible advertisement is "we cured bad disease X, now we'll cure bad disease Y", right? There are plenty of diseases. Being involved in a successful effort to cure disease X looks great on the resume for disease Y.

The reason it's so hard to cure current diseases is because: (1) we've cured a lot of low-hanging fruit using older general-purpose techniques such as vaccination and antibiotics; the remaining diseases are the ones that didn't respond to these techniques; and (2) new techniques require fundamental breakthroughs, which are hard to summon on demand.

[posting anonymous because I've used mod points]

I have another cure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451294)

How about showing some self control and not fucking someone within 5 minutes of meeting them? How about getting tests and waiting, and being more responsible. Oh I forgot, that would mean being a grown up.

Re:I have another cure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451458)

Unless you're a black woman or a gay/bi man, AIDS is not even a disease. It's a historical footnote, like spanish flu or black plague.

Re:I have another cure. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451516)

How DARE you introduce the INHERENTLY BIGOTED concept of abstinence. How DARE you believe that there is more to existence than TIME, SPACE, MATTER, ENERGY and CHANCE. The whole purpose of post-secondary education is to be RID of such a dastardly idea of TRANSCENDENT ETHICS. Transcendent ethics flew planes into buildings on 9/11/2001, for your information. Transcendent ethics would have you raise goats, beat women and dress in ancient garb. Transcendent ethics would deny your animal nature and the right to express the same. If you indeed sport plaque(s) on the wall, those professors have FAILED THEIR MISSION on you.

SCIENCE DAMN IT!

I know you're being facetious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451582)

...but waiting for a bit is not abstinence. The abstinence people say wait till marriage. They even insist you don't jack off. Hell in reality they don't even want you to have sex EVEN if you are married, except to create a baby. FUCK THAT SHIT!

That's not what I'm saying. When I don't have a partner (which honestly has been a lot, as truthfully I'm no catch in the looks department), I jack off like no tomorrow. But for my past partners, when we decided that we wanted to be sexual, we got tests. When it was all clear medically, we fucked like rabbits, minus the litters of progeny. We simply showed some common sense restraint and due diligence.

Re:I have another cure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451572)

Looks like someone finally found what his wife has been up to on those "scrap-booking nights with the girls" !

Re:I have another cure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37452162)

I can't wait for a new emerging disease called FUCKDEATH. Sex outside of MF marriage immediately followed by a horrific and swift painful death., something that a billion Jerry Falwells could not do. Imagine the Sexual
Revolution coming to a crashing halt.

I'm gonna make you over-educated arses waste all your mod points.

What about cancer?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37451488)

Damnit. I just read on slashdot a week ago that HIV was used for gene therapy to cure leukemia. Now I read that gene therapy will be used to cure HIV. But... but... now how will we cure cancer??

But HIV just cured leukemia, which is better? (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451610)

A recent story had news about gene therapy being used to cure 2 people of leukemia. The article described how they used an version of HIV to target the right blood cells. Now this article talks about curing HIV after having leukemia - it's a vicious circle!

An Old Review of the Topic (1)

Joe Torres (939784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451826)

A multiple research groups have targeted CCR5 using gene therapy before. An old (2007) review details the methods a number of groups have been trying including Carl June (you may remember his name from the leukemia story involving the HIV-vector). Building an HIV-Proof Immune System: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/317/5838/612.full [sciencemag.org]

Using Occam's Razor (1)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451838)

The simplest, and most effective solution would be to infect leukemia patients with HIV and induce leukemia in patients with HIV. It makes perfect sense. What could possibly go wrong?

Using HIV to cure leukemia (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451982)

And leukemia to cure HIV.

(Yeah, that's actually completely wrong because the HIV was cured as a side-effect of the treatment against leukemia. Still, nicely circular.)

So... (1)

Viceice (462967) | more than 2 years ago | (#37452222)

http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/08/11/1458205/Cancer-Cured-By-HIV

So the cure for leukaemia is HIV, and the cure for HIV is leukaemia?
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