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Old 07-29-2002, 04:27 PM   #31
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Can anybody else feel the love?

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Old 07-29-2002, 05:33 PM   #32
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Old 07-29-2002, 08:25 PM   #33
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heterosexuals get aids just as commonly than homosexuals

Originally posted by Lemonite
After all, how much money should it take to tell Americans, and especially children, to not 'sleep around' and engage in homosexual relationships? "
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba In Lemonite's defense, what the article says does appear to be true
no bubba, it does not tell the whole truth. yes, most of it was very valid, but that last part is just moronic.

moving on, this whole conspiracy thing is bullshit, and if you think that getting the cure for HIV/AIDS would conflict with capitolism you've got something else coming to you. there is no WAY that our government would keep a cure from the public. if an american comes up with the cure, how quickly do you think that researcher would be out selling that to the millions afflicted with it around the world?

curing AIDS and curing smallpox is two very different things. AIDS is a retrovirus. meaning that its RNA codes off of the host's DNA, which is backwards from all other viruses. it also moves backwards. rather than coding gene 1, gene 2, gene 3, it codes gene 3, gene 2, gene 1, or 2,1,3, or 3,1,2...there is no real pattern, making it EXTREMELY difficult to make one mass cure. after coding your DNA from its RNA, it makes more of your cells, only with its infected RNA. and since your body will not recognize this new DNA as a pathogen since it only reads your own DNA, it will replicate this new infected cell over and over and over because you need red blood cells to live.

next, your body's white blood cells try to attack the red blood cells because THEY revognize there is something wrong. the red blood cells fight the white ones and infect the white blood cells in the same manner as the first cells were made and your body shuts down.

it happens thousands of different ways. it all has to do with the proteins your body makes. some bodies, like magic johnson, can stave it off for a long time. others cannot. the AIDS cocktail is so much pain to take, over 50 pills every morning. and some are allergic to the cocktail which is tragic in and of itself.

now if your brother wants to be convinced this whole thing is a conspiracy, show him the medical facts, if that doesn't please him, he can come talk to me and i'll tell him of the many friends i have that have died from HIV or are still living with the pain, some through no fault of their own, some straight, some homoexual.
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Old 07-30-2002, 01:49 AM   #34
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Look, Bubba. I am aware that he says some things in this article that are actually true - and I'm also aware that what theguywiththelongname said about 99% of relationships not being monogamous is untrue - but the problem with this article is that the writer is obviously heavily biased. Yes, he states in the beginning that both heterosexual and homosexual promiscuity is dangerous... but then he just can't resist that little dig at the end. That, to me, makes the rest of his ideas invalid to me, because his bigotry shows that his vision is clouded, probably by his religious beliefs.

As for the conspiracy, no, I don't believe in that, in the same way that I don't believe that Dubya didn't know about the 9/11 attacks. I still have a bit of faith in mankind.
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Old 07-30-2002, 10:20 PM   #35
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How many of you are scientists? Raise your hands....Now, of the precious few of you who are scientists, how many of you have done or are currently doing diagnostic or therapeutic R&D? Uh huh... that's what I thought.

Not to be ostentatious, but I am a scientist who has done R&D in the areas of diagnostics and therapeutics. And for all of you who are screaming "conspiracy theory" or "there's no money in a cure" - all I can say is do some homework.

To find a new "biomarker" - something that could be used for early cancer diagnosis - an enormous amount of work must be done. The markers that are currently used, like PSA (for prostate cancer), are rather poor. These were "easy" markers to find. Only recently has the technology advance to the point where we might be able to find a particular protein that is only expressed by cancer cells. But even once that marker is found, one has to identify it. Then one has to see what stages of cancer where it exists. One has to be sure it doesn't show up in healthy people. This requires hundreds of samples from, of course, hundreds of patients, just for a potential discovery. Then comes the clinical trials where now thousands of patients are being tested. After this work, even if the marker works beautifully, one now has to convince the medical world of its value. After all, if you were a patient, would you prefer a "tried and true" method to be used if your doctor were screening for cancer, or would you be willing to use a revolutionary new method? Not many patients are willing to be guinea pigs. The cost for the equipment to do this work can easily run to millions of dollars. Add in the people, the samples and marketing and one can see the costs skyrocket. Yet, despite all this work, the marker still might not be accepted. All it takes is for some prestigious scientists or doctors to claim the marker is ineffective in his/her/their hands and the project could die.

With regards to therapeutics, all "easy" drugs have been found, like penicillin. Diseases caused from drug-resistant bacteria, a virus or cancer are far more complex. One has to understand how these diseases work. Where does a virus or bacteria attack the body? Where does it attack the cell? What does it do after the attack? How does the body respond? What specific DNA, RNA or proteins are involved? Can these items be isolated and purified? Can we obtain a structure? For example, if a specific protein is crucial for a virus to multiply, one tries to find this protein, then purify it and study how it works. These are NOT simple tasks. A protein is a very large molecule consisting of hydrophobic, hydrophilic, ionic and covalent interactions. If there is an "active site" on the protein (if it is an ezyme or a receptor protein), one needs to determine the shape and size of that site and what amino acids are involved. Then, perhaps one can design and create a molecule that could bind in that active site and prevent the protein from doing its job. But to do this work, one requires extensive molecular biology, proteomic, computer modeling and organic chemistry skills. Only recently have we the technology to find some of these proteins. Only recently have we been able to "model" drugs into the active site of a protein. Plus, even if we find this wonderful target site to attack and create a drug, will the body take the drug? Can the cell uptake the drug so that it could be used on this protein? What are the side effects? Can the drug be properly formulated? Can it be stable for an extended period of time for practical usage? Will it pass animal studies? Will the FDA ultimately approve it? All of these are INCREDIBLY costly and challenging areas - and ultimately the drug might fail. This results in starting all over again.

More recently, instead of designing new drugs, scientists are looking for more natural sources - that is, the proteins that we already have in us as potential drugs. Could a naturally existing protein, if administered locally or in higher dosages be an effective treatment for a particular disease? To even make this discovery, this requires tons of laboratory and computer work in first identifying potential genetic targets, mining out those targets, identifying the protein, isolating the protein, cloning the protein, purifying the protein, formulating the protein, characterizing the protein, and testing the protein. If a given formulation is not stable for an extended time, the protein drug is not valid. If the protein appears stable by analytical tests, but is not biologically active, then again, the protein must be reformulated. And animal studies can easily negate all the work. And even if everything works on a small scale, can it be scaled up for mass production?

The costs of instruments, people and supplies alone can run in the millions of dollars. Often, it may cost several million just to build a proper facility. Then one has to get instruments. Then one has to get supplies and equipment. Then one has to get trained people who can do these experiments. But at this level, you can't get some high school graduate to do the work. We are talking people with Ph.D.'s and years of experience. All of this adds to the cost of a project. Yet, despite all of these experts and success and costs, if the FDA has any doubts about a potential drug, everything can crash.

Now, you can claim that the FDA might be part of the conspiracy theory. But from what I've read, I highly doubt it. When they reject a drug, it's for very good reasons. There is a kink in the data. Sometimes the data is misleading. Yes, scientists and companies can be desperate and may want to make something look better than it really is. If the FDA didn't screen so carefully, there could be some VERY dangerous drugs out there. While the FDA may take too long or reject drugs that were approved in other countries, how often have we seen an FDA-approved drug falter? Even the FDA can make a mistake. This is because we are dealing with living entities. It is impossible to fully predict short-term and long-term effects of any drug.

Some doctors get kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies. Some of you, as a result, might think this is part of a conspiracy theory. However, this is just standard marketing. A company has to do all it can to let doctors know of new drugs while reminding them of current successful drugs.

A company might have 200 possible drugs in its pipeline. And that's after thousands of candidates were screened. Out of those 200, only 1 or 2 might become actual drugs. The amount of time and money invested in these projects is enormous.

This is why drugs cost so much. This is why its easier to put a man on the moon than to find a cure for the common cold. This is why finding true cures for some diseases is nearly impossible.

One must remember that almost all drugs only help the body. It's our own immune system that truly wins the battle for us. Sometimes a disease gets out of hand - so taking an antibiotic, for example, gives our immune system a better chance at fighting off the infection. Same is true for cancer or HIV. All the drugs will do is assist our immune system in fighting off the disease. As such, it is very likely that no cure may ever be found. We might only be able to put a cancer in remission - because at some point, another cancer might return. We might only be able to lower HIV levels to a non-damaging point, because there's always that chance that due to some lifestyle change (age, other diseases), HIV might fully return. To truly rid the body of cancer or HIV or other diseases is an amitious goal and one we all hope to find. But it is NOT an easy task by any means. As a person who has worked in these areas for 15 years, I can say with complete confidence that there is no "conspiracy theory" preventing the public from receiving a cure. If a cure was there, it would be used.

Now, why do drugs cost so much? Hopefully, all that I've written above explains that. The costs for finding a drug could be millions upon millions of dollars. For someone to then ask a company to just "give" this drug away is indeed a challenge. Because a company relies on those token few successful drugs it has to generate income to perform R&D on future drugs. It relies on the money from those drugs to pay its employees and exist as a company. While there is a moral obligation to help those in need, I can understand why companies can only go so far. If you worked for a software company and spent years working on some powerful software that would truly help revolutionize computing and truly benefit humanity, would you just "give it away"? Morally, you might rush to say yes - but keep in mind that companies rely on that $$ to pay their employees, which in turn provide us with food and homes.

Therefore, don't come down on pharmaceutical companies too harshly. There is an enormous cost to creating a drug and the challenges are even more overwhelming. But when a new drug is found, then the benefits are obvious. Its thanks to the extensive reasearch on HIV and cancer that we have prolonged the lives we have. People may not be cured of HIV, but they are able to live with it and no longer fear dying. The goal now is to see if we can get this drug cheaply to those in Africa - and that's not necessarily an easy task. But we are working on it.
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Old 07-31-2002, 02:14 PM   #36
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WOW, doctorwho.
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Old 07-31-2002, 02:22 PM   #37
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kaw i love this post good doctor

Originally posted by doctorwho
How many of you are scientists? Raise your hands....Now, of the precious few of you who are scientists, how many of you have done or are currently doing diagnostic or therapeutic R&D? Uh huh... that's what I thought.
*points at own response*

i tried to convey the difficulty of finding a cure...but i think you and your "hey, i actually am a researcher, i didn't just take a college course in biology"-ness got the point across a little better than i.

it was a fabulous post
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Old 07-31-2002, 02:59 PM   #38
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can we get an applause smilie? Some clapping hands or something?

docwho rocks the sure shot.
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Old 07-31-2002, 05:19 PM   #39
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Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase
can we get an applause smilie? Some clapping hands or something?

docwho rocks the sure shot.
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Old 08-01-2002, 07:29 PM   #40
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba
The article is correct in asserting that AIDS "is largely preventable if only individuals would not have multiple sexual partners, either in homosexual or heterosexual relationships."
HIV infection is preventable in this manner. I know HIV and AIDS are used interchangeably, but it still bugs me, because theoretically one could live with HIV indefinitely.

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