October #52 : Memo for the Millennium - by Mike Barr

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Table of Contents

Love Me Gender

21st Century Vax

How to get There From There

Fear of a Vax Planet


Letters to the Editor October 1999

The End of an Epidemic?

General Delivery

Veep Show

Black Is...Black Ain't

Memo for the Millennium

Addicted to Life

The Club Scene

Get Over It

Nuking it Out

Babes Out of the Woods

A Vicious Cycle

First Things First

On the Cutting Edge

Great White Hope

Northern Light

I Sing The Body Electric

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

October 1999

Memo for the Millennium

by Mike Barr

1. DEMAND THAT RESERACH DEVOTE increased attention to the preservation or renewal of the immune system’s CD4 cells, lessening its focus on the suppression of HIV in the blood.

2. DENY ACCELERATED APPROVAL to future “me too” antiretrovirals. Treatment advocates might even consider a news ban on all such drugs. If they add nothing to the arsenal of current therapies, there’s nothing newsworthy.

3. FOCUS ON IDENTIFYING CELLULAR FACTORS in the body responsible for either stimulating or suppressing the development of an effective immune response. We can then boost the “good” factors or block the “bad” ones.

4. GIVE STUDY-SECTION ADMINISTRATORS at the National Institutes of Health the authority to award money for research projects that fall outside the mainstream—ideas not in vogue but ones that these leaders, with their years of experience, think may work.

5. AUTHORIZE THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE to do the expensive, time-consuming research to identify lead compounds that might work against a given target. Then provide economic incentives to the drug companies to pursue these leads. In essence, pay them to do what they should be doing anyway.

6. FUND TARGETED GRANTS TO DEVELOP NEW DRUGS that destroy HIV-infected cells, as opposed to simply stopping HIV replication. One example is Lucky Chemical’s modified nonnucleoside compound, which binds to HIV’s reverse transcriptase, then releases a cell-killing substance.

7. ENCOURAGE ACTIVIST GROUPS TO REGAIN their objectivity when pharmaceutical companies bankroll trips to meet with them. Industry should seek community input to hear differences and challenges, not merely acquiescence and imprimaturs.

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