Saturday, February 12, 2005
The front page story in all the New York newspapers today is that a new strain of the AIDS virus, with many genetic mutations compared to other samples of the AIDS virus, has appeared in one patient in New York.
This new strain takes only months -- instead of years -- to cause full blown AIDS, and is resistant to almost all the medications used to treat HIV and AIDS and prevent HIV from turning into AIDS. In particular it can not be treated by the usual "cocktail" of medications.
If this virus spreads, it could cause a virulent epidemic, just when the treatments for the familiar strains of the virus were beginning to seem very successful. A recent story in the New York Times had just described great progress in preventing the spread of AIDS from mother to child.
Not every news organization has displayed this story as prominently as the New York papers, so it may be necessary to look around for more detailed information outside of New York.
This story reminds everyone of the importance of protection when engaging in sexual activity. Sexually transmitted diseases are still a mortal threat.