I just read this article from my RSS feeds of our local newspaper – http://www.delawareonline.com/viewart/20120513/BUSINESS13/305130035/Advocates-say-HIV-prevention-pill-could-save-lives – and, this blogger, this is both very good and very bad news. Good because the drug in question can prevent HIV infection in those who don’t have it (as well as treat those who are infected); bad because of availability issues and the yearly cost of the drug.
HIV/AIDS has been decimating peoples all over the world for – Jesus, thirty years. Somewhere along the line, it occurred – at least to me – that a cure wasn’t going to be in the offing because, ha, there’s no long-term money in curing such a thing and pharmaceutical concerns working on medications can fill in a veritable blank check when filling their coffers.
There are “arguments” pro and con about the drug and both sides make good points… but other than waiting for the FDA to officially give its blessing to use the drug as a preventative, we’re now talking cost and availability and, yeah, health insurance companies are going to shit a brick having to foot the bill – or doing their best to avoid having to do that.
It makes one wonder if the company making this drug is totally and completely soulless and, like their contemporaries, are just worried about their bottom line; seems to me that it doesn’t make much sense to have a breakthrough drug like this when the people who need it can’t get it because they’re not making enough of the drug – which might be on purpose to maximize sales – or the cost is prohibitive… if you ain’t got insurance or can’t otherwise afford the $14,000 per year cost, well…
I agree that condoms and other safe-sex practices aren’t getting the job done; a lot of people afflicted with this disease never really get “better” because they can’t always afford the current medications, don’t take them when they’re supposed to, or they even build up quick resistance to the current stuff, something those who speak out against this new drug are quick to point out, citing that resistant strains could pop up and they’re right back to square one.
Which is why the efforts in this should include eradication of the virus… and who’s working on making this happen? I mean, I can understand that eradication wasn’t possible until they were able to successfully unlock and map the virus’s DNA – but they’ve done that so why hasn’t someone announced, “Okay, this is how we can wipe this out forever…” It’s either they can’t eradicate it… or it’s not in their financial interests to eradicate it; you can make long-term money treating something and not so much loot making it go away forever.