AIDS treatment delays incite doubts

AIDS is an epidemic circulating throughout the world. Since the mid-1990’s, antiretroviral drugs have been available to HIV patients. Though these drugs are costly and cause serious side effects, it’s a small price to pay to stay alive.

Now, however, more people may be put at risk to catch AIDS according to recently released information.

Because of serious side-effects of the antiretroviral drugs, doctors have tried to delay the treatment whenever possible.

According to, doctors discovered that the drugs could be started when levels of disease-fighting CD4 white blood cells dropped to 350 per cubic millimeter instead of the previously recommended 500. The new studies suggest that the drugs will still be effective if started when the patient’s CD4 count is even 200.

To begin with, the fact that the drugs for a worldwide epidemic are so costly is absurd. Patients being exposed to the virus without treatment for such a long time is downright insanity. What sense does it make to leave someone exposed to a deadly disease for so long?

According to a study conducted by Robert Hogg and Dr. Julio Montaner at the University of British Columbia, they tested only 1,219 HIV patients who started treatment between 1996 and 1999. By September of 2000, almost 10 percent of the patients had died from AIDS related causes. Their CD4 counts were 200 and below.

This study has no merit whatsoever. Every person is different. Doctors cannot study the human anatomy and be correct 100 percent of the time. Why sacrifice patients when doctors can give them the treatment that will give them the one thing they need the most, life?

Most people don’t want to be in a position where they don’t know if they’re going to live or die. That’s inhumane.

In the early and mid-90’s it was rumored that people could not catch HIV or the AIDS virus unless they were homosexual and, of course, that turned out to be a fallacy.

Either we lessen the prices for treatment so more people infected can be saved, or we risk losing 10 percent of the human population every year because their immune system is different than everyone else’s.

-Antione Davis for the Editorial Board.