Sam Wang


AIDS/HIV was discovered in the early 1980s in the US when young men died in California. It continued to spread and soon became one of the biggest global pandemics in human history. Through research, scientists found HIV to spread through sex and they had also found a patient zero - the one who began all this - and he was Gaetan Dugas. But further research proved that AIDS had existed even before Gaetan was a virgin therefore eliminating him as the starter. By comparing the diversity of each HIV in the infected, scientists were able to trace HIV entered the US around 1966 and it started in Africa. 1908 was when HIV/AIDS started in human beings. They found SIV which was found in many different species of primates, and SIV was very similar to HIV. It was later to be found that a chimp had SIV that was the closest to HIV. The origin of the HIV was discovered in the Cameroon chimps. It spread to humans through a hunter that was probably hunting these Cameroon chimps. The hunter would kill that chimp and while butchering the chimp, he cuts himself. Blood to blood contact. The virus continue to evolve, perhaps making it easier to spread and constantly mutated.

Effect of HIV/AIDS

  • Demand for care of those with AIDS rises
  • In the absence of a cure, AIDS will infect millions and millions of people
  • Due to no cure, AIDS will continuously be passed down generation after generation, as well as infecting the non-infected, expediting the spread of AIDS
  • The millions of workers infected must stay home/hospital, in turn the economy declines as well as productivity
  • HIV will continue mutating and changing and infecting more and more people as well as claiming more lives


Currently, antiretroviral drugs are used to hinder HIV/AIDS. They prevent the virus replication and slows damage to the immune system. But these drugs are costly and must be taken for life, and there is no guarantee as well as side effects. With the spread of HIV increasing, a cure for HIV is even more on demand. There is currently no cure that will relieve you forever and destroy the virus in your system, we only have drugs such as the antiretroviral drugs mentioned above that should slow the virus. There is a therapy called "Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART)". HAART kills the HIV in the bloodstream but it does not complete eliminate the HIV from the body because some viruses will survive and continue to infect cells and replicate. But what about the HIV cells in the brain? Currently, antiretrovirals do not cross the blood-brain barrier very well. Many patients treated with HAART often suffered from severe mental impairment. There is potential in radioimmunotherapy. It was found that radioimmunotherapy on HIV-infected cells that had received antiretroviral treatment was successful. Another plus is that unlike HAART, the radioisotope-charged antibodies from radioimmunotherapy were able to destroy HIV cells in the brain without damaging the barrier. With the ability to kill HIV cells in the bloodstream and in the brain without damaging the barrier, radioimmunotherapy has a very high potential to being the cure.