Page 3.14

Working to End HIV

Could HIV soon follow in the footsteps of smallpox and polio?  On The Pump Handle, Sara Gorman says that recent research has “allowed political figures such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to proclaim that the phenomenon of a generation without HIV/AIDS is within reach.”  But no vaccine has proven effective at curtailing HIV infection, and a new prophylactic called Truvada could select for drug-resistant versions of the virus.  On ERV, Abbie Smith explains that researchers have traced the origin of HIV to a single population of chimpanzees in West-Central Africa, thanks to “3108 samples of monkey poop.”  Chimps elsewhere carry similar loads of immunodeficiency virus, but their variants are not fit to infect humans.  Until we can stop HIV, can we slow it down without further enhancing its fitness?