To Treat or Not to Treat HIV

I am not sure how long the debate has been going on, but if scientists have been arguing about whether to treat HIV or not, then the moral and practical importance of their scientific outlook needs to be addressed. According to an article by Caitlin Cohen at change.org, there are two groups of scientists in relation to HIV prevention, those who think treatment will increase the spread of HIV and those who believe treatment will decrease the spread of HIV. A study¬†http://www.montrealgazette.com/mobile/iphone/story.html?id=3293155 done in Canada provides evidence that treatment of HIV patients actually lowers the spread of HIV. The medicinal treatment, Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) lowers the amount of HIV present in the bloodstream of the host, thus making it harder to spread to sexual partners. This fact counters the idea that a longer life span with HIV allows for increased incidents. In other words regardless of how long you live, the chances of you spreading HIV decrease. This research demonstrates it’s functionality and importance in disease prevention and health promotion, specifically in regards to HIV.

For those scientist who do not advocate treatment, I have a question for you. Why not? It may be expensive, but if we want to tackle one of greatest and most devastating diseases the world has ever known, then what other option do we have then but to treat it. Why do we have AIDS WALK? Why do volunteers spend hour upon hour at AIDS clinics? Why do public health workers and social justice activists spend hours in Kenya, the United States, and Tanzania, educating the people about the disease and how to slow its spread? Now, for those scientists that do not support treatment, please do not tell me these practices are not as important as sitting on your lab bench looking for a cure. Everyone has a job in this fight and in most cases the number one gift we can all give is education. Educate ourselves to educate others and let others educate us.

Positively Influence,

Key

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