Category Archives: AIDS

Did a contaminated polio vaccine cause the AIDS epidemic?

Like gossip, a juicy scientific hypothesis doesn’t die easy. There has been a dilly percolating through the scientific community this last year, a suggestion at once horrifying and plausable. It has been suggested that a vaccine caused AIDS. This is not as silly an idea as it might at first appear. To understand its peculiar… Read More »

AIDS at 20: Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

This week marked the twentieth anniversary of the AIDS epidemic. On June 5, 1981, doctors in Los Angeles reported five unusual cases of immune system failure, all gay young men. These were the first reported cases of AIDS. A tragic flood of additional cases have followed. In the twenty years since that day, the United… Read More »

The Search for an AIDS Cure Just Got Harder

Since 1981, when the first cases were reported, over 350,000 Americans have died of AIDS. Worldwide, over 5 million are affected, with numbers growing rapidly in India and Southeast Asia. The search for a cure has occupied researchers worldwide. Every few years a promising approach appears, only to disappoint. Starting in the mid-1990s, for example,… Read More »


Combination drug therapy for AIDS buys time, but is not a cure In the battle against AIDS, drugs are beginning to play an important role. A promising approach suggested by laboratory studies has met with recent success. It involves drugs that inhibit the AIDS-causing HIV virus in the test tube. There are two basic kinds… Read More »

The AIDS War Is Not Going Well

This week the world’s AIDS researchers held the 17th Annual AIDS Conference in Mexico City. The news is not good.  AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) was first recognized as a disease in the United States in June of 1981.  130 Americans died of AIDS that year.  By the end of 2006 in the United States, more… Read More »

The search for an effective AIDS vaccine suddenly looks more promising

Since the AIDS epidemic burst upon us in 1981, scientists have feverishly sought a vaccine to protect people from this deadly and incurable disease. But the path to a vaccine has not been easy. Twenty years and 600,000 American AIDS cases later, an effective AIDS vaccine still eludes the best efforts of researchers. One problems… Read More »

HIV’s Waiting Game

One of the cruelest aspects of AIDS is that clinical symptoms typically do not begin to develop until long after infection by the HIV virus, generally eight to ten years after the initial exposure to HIV. During this long interval, carriers of HIV have no clinical symptoms but are apparently fully infectious, which makes the… Read More »