The idea of the live-virus vaccine is to produce in a continuous way some viral antigens.
Psychological factors are critical in supporting immune function. If you suppress this psychological support by telling someone he's condemned to die, your words alone will have condemned him.
AIDS win be our first priority, but in two years' time we don't know where AIDS research will stand, so we are also thinking of activity on other diseases.
I've participated in meetings where there were concerns by ethical experts. There is no clear solution.
Since most of the transmission is sexual transmission, you have a regional or local response to the virus.
But it will be more and more difficult - and less and less ethical - to find populations in a natural condition of high infection.
My proposal now is to test a vaccine first on people who have been infected, and if you show some efficacy at this level, you might be able to go further to study uninfected people in a population with a high rate of infection.
It's very difficult in our society. You cannot impose certain behavioral changes. Education can do it at the right time, probably by high school. After that it is too late.
We don't know why, but there are some gradients of infection.
We are working with a biotech company, Calypte, which has designed a urine test for the HIV antibody.
The danger is that many people believe that AIDS is a treatable disease and should not receive more attention than other diseases.
Basic research is very useful, but it should be more geared toward application than it was before.
What perhaps should receive more attention is the effect of the treatment on the virus.
We believe that these treatments are not sufficient and are also too expensive to be applied to many people in the developing world.
One could not have isolated this retrovirus without knowledge of other retroviruses, that's obvious. But I believe we have answered the criteria of isolation.
Another interesting field, which is my own, is cofactors, not only to the disease but also to transmission. I am still puzzled by the fact that you get more sexual transmission in some ethnic populations. One way to answer this is to look for genetic factors.
I think in our campaign the most important time is 10 to 12 years old, before they get sexually active. At that time there is no sexual pressure.
I think we should put the same weight now on the co-factors as we have on HIV.
I am very puzzled by the fact that young people are getting infected again. They don't take precautions despite an enormous amount of information. It's like riding a race car at 200 kilometers an hour. Some people like the risk.
That is why it is so important not only to have excellent treatment but also to try to get back the immune defense, because there you have a natural defense that takes place everywhere.
They don't actually see the real world, where 95% of the people with HIV are not treated and are dying. And even though we have some blue sky now in our country, the sky could become cloudy again very soon.
Our goal is not to completely eradicate the infection - that would be very difficult - but to produce a vaccine that will prevent not infection but disease. I think this is more possible.
There are two main theories that it kills the cells infected directly or that the cells die in an indirect way. Actually, I am open to both.
It's easier to learn things for life by the age of 12 and not the age of 18. This is just my guess.
The center will be fully operational in two years' time, but probably in the middle of the year we will have a temporary laboratory of 4,000 square feet.
It's clear that prevention will never be sufficient. That's why we need a vaccine that will be safe.
AIDS does not inevitably lead to death, especially if you suppress the co-factors that support the disease. It is very important to tell this to people who are infected.
What seems to be clear to me is that after the primary infection most of the cells die indirectly, but at the later stage, when the viral load is very high, the virus kills a lot of cells directly.
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