I dunno how much AIDS scares y'all, but I got a theory. The day they come out with a cure for AIDS, a guaranteed one-shot cure, on that day there's gonna be fucking in the streets, man. Seriously, if you can't get laid on that day, cut it off.
That, of course, is a quote from the legendary Bill Hicks from way back in the 80s. This week his dream was declared a reality. That's right folks, they've managed to cure HIV. Don't start ripping your clothes off and leaping on the first person you see though, as this is far from a one-shot cure and it could take years before we reach that stage. Rather it's the first major step in a battle that has cost us thousands of lives in the past thirty years.
As with all the great scientific discoveries this one was found while trying to do something else. In 2007 a mid forties American man underwent a blood stem cell transplant to try and treat his leukemia. It turns out that his donor was not only an excellent blood match but had a mutant gene that gave him a natural resistance to HIV, a gene that went to work in the patient's own body. Within a year his existing HIV had vanished completely and he's just had his second year of clean tests.
Obviously this is a far cry from the one-shot cure that Bill was hoping for. Stem cell research is underfunded in most countries around the world, mostly due to science fiction obsessed politicians thinking scientists are aborting babies and putting them in a blender to get the cells, or growing babies in labs simply to kill them and harvest the cells (bizarrely these are the same politicians who say they're pro-life, yet they allow their insanity to cost millions of lives per year as they wont back this research). As it's underfunded it's also undertested meaning we just don't know how this sort of treatment would work in a healthy individual. The man who had his HIV cured had previously had his immune system destroyed by chemotherapy (pumping poison into your veins in an effort to cure a worse poison) and radiotherapy (exposing the body to potentially harmful radiation) before the stem cells were implanted to help him regrow a new immune from scratch. The mortality rates for such a procedure are still too high for us to try that on anyone who has a managable condition, and HIV has been managable with medication for quite a while now. Still, the difference between surviving and living is enormous, and there are many things that HIV positive patients simply cannot do (having children for example) so I can see more than a few people attempting to go through the courts to allow them to take this chance at having a normal life.
If nothing else, this is a remarkable first step against something that people still regard as a death sentence, and it's only a matter of time before it leads to a real cure that everyone can take. And on that day there's gonna be fucking in the streets, man.