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HIV Vaccine Coming to a Doctor's Office Near You?

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Researchers at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute claim to have developed a single dose HIV vaccine that succeeds where previous vaccine attempts had failed. Link Apparently they are hoping to have it approved for human use in about a year.

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Best of luck to the researchers! This will solve one of the largest and most widespread killers humanity has had to face in recent decades.

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Strike another hit for humanity. This is very good news.

I remember when tuberculosis was the hot contagious disease, and small pox vaccinations were relatively new.

When I went in to get my tetanus booster this year, my doctor also gave me a booster for, of all things, whooping cough (pertussis). These "childhood" diseases are still around and, thanks to some people who refuse to have their children vaccinated, are on the rise.

I would hate to see some of these things emerge again, especially among adults. Mumps in an adult is very serious and can result in sterility or death. Let's not even think about a new polio outbreak.

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These "childhood" diseases are still around and, thanks to some people who refuse to have their children vaccinated, are on the rise.

Keep in mind though, many may not be able to be vaccinated due to anaphylactic allergies (as in my case).

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and there falls another one of nature's last resorts against overpopulation of mankind...

as great a medical breakthrough this is - still keeping in mind that it's not a sureshot and can fail to work properly - we should not forget that, ironically, those regions worst suffering under HIV/AIDS and other severe diseases are also regions that suffer from overpopulation in terms of an imbalance of available vs demanded resources. not to mention the whole planet slowly, but constantly overcrowds with humans.

the whole nature works on balancing supply and demand in alternating waves of more prey over hunter and vice versa.

problematic once the hunter learns to raise it's own food, what's left to control overpopulation is disasterous diseases.

if the hunter also controls this, what else there is to prevent the imbalance from tipping over the whole structure?

now I know we've changed from a biological to a social evolution, let's hope this spreads fast enough so sanity settles in to stop us humans from really getting too many for our small piece of rock to care for...

otherwise this incredible, medical step forward is of no good in the end

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  • Original Poster
  • When I went in to get my tetanus booster this year, my doctor also gave me a booster for, of all things, whooping cough (pertussis). These "childhood" diseases are still around and, thanks to some people who refuse to have their children vaccinated, are on the rise.

    When I got my tetanus booster, I was informed that I was getting a whooping cough vaccination also. However, I was told that the resurgence of whooping cough among children had nothing to do with the kids and was actually because of the adults. Children were getting infected because one or more parents was infected and passed it on to the child. The CDC figured that combining the tetanus and whooping cough vaccines into one combo was the most effective way to break the transmission chain, so they asked the vaccine manufacturers to adjust the vaccine accordingly.

    and there falls another one of nature's last resorts against overpopulation of mankind...

    This does very little to reduce nature's resorts against the overpopulation of humanity. HIV may be one of the world's top killing diseases, but it's only effective as a population control disease if it spreads uncontrollably. Fortunately, the spread of HIV is relatively easy to control: don't have sex with a person until you've confirmed his/her HIV status.

    problematic once the hunter learns to raise it's own food, what's left to control overpopulation is disasterous diseases.

    if the hunter also controls this, what else there is to prevent the imbalance from tipping over the whole structure?

    War. Humans are violent creatures and we have the means to wipe the planet clean of human life. The US alone has the nuclear arsenal to destroy all of humanity 7 times, and those estimates were formulated before it was discovered that the US nuclear stockpile was over twice what most people estimated.

    And if that doesn't even begin to address the issue of biowarfare using genetically engineered diseases...

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    These "childhood" diseases are still around and, thanks to some people who refuse to have their children vaccinated, are on the rise.

    Keep in mind though, many may not be able to be vaccinated due to anaphylactic allergies (as in my case).

    A sad case. You could die of something horrible without your immune system improvements that can be made for nearly everyone. I suppose you are allergic to some simple foodstuff like eggs, which are usually the base of vaccines these days. I do not believe horse serum is used anymore. You have my deepest sympathies.

    I suppose you can't vacation out of the country and have to stay off beaches.

    Food allergies are another topic, and I don't propose to pursue it here.

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    These "childhood" diseases are still around and, thanks to some people who refuse to have their children vaccinated, are on the rise.

    Keep in mind though, many may not be able to be vaccinated due to anaphylactic allergies (as in my case).

    A sad case. You could die of something horrible without your immune system improvements that can be made for nearly everyone. I suppose you are allergic to some simple foodstuff like eggs, which are usually the base of vaccines these days. I do not believe horse serum is used anymore. You have my deepest sympathies.

    I suppose you can't vacation out of the country and have to stay off beaches.

    Food allergies are another topic, and I don't propose to pursue it here.

    I'm allergic to peanuts, nuts, fish, shellfish, a few types of seeds, kiwi and latex. Believe it or not, a lot of those things are found, to some degree, in vaccines. I'm not anaphylactic to latex in a reasonable quantity, but it's a problem with needles and injections. However, I do have some vaccinations and I am able to travel to most countries, basically the ones I can't go to I wouldn't want to anyways. Other than that, I do lead a normal life, perhaps the only noticeable difference is that I bake or cook most of my food, but at least I won't be one of those useless husbands who doesn't know anything about food when I get married. :P

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    This does very little to reduce nature's resorts against the overpopulation of humanity. HIV may be one of the world's top killing diseases, but it's only effective as a population control disease if it spreads uncontrollably. Fortunately, the spread of HIV is relatively easy to control: don't have sex with a person until you've confirmed his/her HIV status.

    wow. Is it really that simple today? Time was that a kid could contract it via tainted blood products. [Ryan White] But I guess we have the blood distribution system under control. I remember it was a little questionable when my premature nephew had to have a transfusion. I was happy when he reached his 11th birthday with no symptoms.

    There is confirming one's HIV status and then there is the issue of how often to reconfirm it.

    There are many cases of one supposedly-monogamous partner passing it onto another. I knew a woman who died from it. Her boyfriend knew he had become HIV positive and he decided to share. (Can someone explain to me why that shouldn't be considered assault with a deadly weapon?)

    Once people have been in a relationship for a while, it can be difficult to say "Hey, let's get tested again" or "Time to start wearing condoms again" because that implies something people don't want to admit to.

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    There are many cases of one supposedly-monogamous partner passing it onto another. I knew a woman who died from it. Her boyfriend knew he had become HIV positive and he decided to share. (Can someone explain to me why that shouldn't be considered assault with a deadly weapon?)

    It is illegal in Canada to have unprotected sex with another person when you know you are HIV positive. Since the woman died, this idiot could have been charged with premeditated murder (a.k.a. Murder I). I am surprised you don't have similar statutes.

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    It is illegal in Canada to have unprotected sex with another person when you know you are HIV positive. Since the woman died, this idiot could have been charged with premeditated murder (a.k.a. Murder I). I am surprised you don't have similar statutes.

    I believe he died before she did. but I am not aware of a state that has a similar statute.

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  • wow. Is it really that simple today? Time was that a kid could contract it via tainted blood products. [Ryan White] But I guess we have the blood distribution system under control. I remember it was a little questionable when my premature nephew had to have a transfusion. I was happy when he reached his 11th birthday with no symptoms.

    Well, we have made significant strides towards ensuring that medical supplies are not a source of infection. (I know that with blood donations, they take samples for "wide spectrum testing." If your blood fails for any reason, you go on a national "deferred donor" list. Basically, you are no longer allowed to donate blood for any reason.)

    It's possible to get infected via other means, but from what I've read, transmission rates are very low and certainly not enough to act as an effective form of population control.

    It is illegal in Canada to have unprotected sex with another person when you know you are HIV positive. Since the woman died, this idiot could have been charged with premeditated murder (a.k.a. Murder I). I am surprised you don't have similar statutes.

    The US does. If you are an HIV positive individual, federal law requires that you take all your prescribed medication and inform every partner in advance that you are HIV positive. Failure to do so can get you 5 years in federal prison and/or $250,000 in fines (I think, could be wrong on that). We've had a law on this since the 80's.

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    the whole nature works on balancing supply and demand in alternating waves of more prey over hunter and vice versa.

    problematic once the hunter learns to raise it's own food, what's left to control overpopulation is disasterous diseases.

    if the hunter also controls this, what else there is to prevent the imbalance from tipping over the whole structure?

    Contraception.

    Note how in developed countries, people are only having one or two kids or aren't even having any. The only reason the population in western countries is still growing is due to immigration. The population of Japan is shrinking.

    Once the rest of the world catches up to the developed world on family planning, the world's population will stop growing.

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    the whole nature works on balancing supply and demand in alternating waves of more prey over hunter and vice versa.

    problematic once the hunter learns to raise it's own food, what's left to control overpopulation is disasterous diseases.

    if the hunter also controls this, what else there is to prevent the imbalance from tipping over the whole structure?

    Contraception.

    Note how in developed countries, people are only having one or two kids or aren't even having any. The only reason the population in western countries is still growing is due to immigration. The population of Japan is shrinking.

    Once the rest of the world catches up to the developed world on family planning, the world's population will stop growing.

    Don't get your hopes up. The drive to reproduce is the strongest urge the race has. The "voluntary" cut in western births won't outlast a real problem. Poor people only have one thing to do after the sun goes down.

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    According to a CDC table listing the risks of 10000 contacts, for becoming HIV positive, blood transfusion is the by far easiest way to get an infection with 90% (9000 of 10000 contacts with contaminated material transmit), second place taken by drug injection through contaminated needles with only 0.67% or 67 out of 10000 contacts.

    Various unprotected sex practices' risks vary between 0.005% and 0.5% of all such contacts with infected persons.

    As for the unprotected sexual contact knowing you're positive, in germany that's considered "assault with a life threatening treatment" (5yrs and/or fines) and it doesn't even matter if you get an infection from it or not and with no difference if you know you're positive or not. However, if you know you're partner is positive and insist on doing unprotected, the positive partner holds no responsibility.

    In Austria, it's basically the same, only that you're facing up to 3yrs, in Sweden it's up to 2yrs, in the Netherlands it's differs until up to 15yrs if the newly infected dies from it, in Swiss it's also considered a crime if the non-infected agrees to unprotected and depending on the point of view this can be treated as high as attempted murder, in Poland it's up to 10yrs prison.

    But in the US, there's no federal law, only 24 states have laws dealing with HIV as an STD

    Don't get your hopes up. The drive to reproduce is the strongest urge the race has. The "voluntary" cut in western births won't outlast a real problem. Poor people only have one thing to do after the sun goes down.

    Plus the fact that contraception is a sin in pretty much every religion and that it is a good rule of thumb that the poorer you are, the more religious you are.

    And there's also many regions among the already overpopulated, where having many kids is considered prosperity.

    Even tho birth rates worldwide have halved in the last 30years that's only credited to the first and second world countries, while everything below had astonishing rises in birth rates. on a worldwide percentage, Africa alone has more than doubled since the 70s to now over 25% of all births worldwide; 10 of a total of 11 countries with an average birth rate of >6 children per woman are situated there.

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  • According to a CDC table listing the risks of 10000 contacts, for becoming HIV positive, blood transfusion is the by far easiest way to get an infection with 90% (9000 of 10000 contacts with contaminated material transmit), second place taken by drug injection through contaminated needles with only 0.67% or 67 out of 10000 contacts.

    Various unprotected sex practices' risks vary between 0.005% and 0.5% of all such contacts with infected persons.

    This I'm going to ask for sources on, because the CDC also has this infographic on its website:

    Figure-2.gif

    Then there is also this piece of information available here:

    The U.S. blood supply is among the safest in the world. Nearly all people infected with HIV through blood transfusions received those transfusions before 1985, the year HIV testing began for all donated blood.

    The Public Health Service has recommended an approach to blood safety in the United States that includes stringent donor selection practices and the use of screening tests. U.S. blood donations have been screened for antibodies to HIV-1 since March 1985 and HIV-2 since June 1992. The p24 Antigen test was added in 1996. Blood and blood products that test positive for HIV are safely discarded and are not used for transfusions.

    But in the US, there's no federal law, only 24 states have laws dealing with HIV as an STD

    I guess I was wrong on the HIV-specific federal statute. I've heard of people being prosecuted for HIV transmission and non-disclosure on the basis of violating federal law, but I guess they were being prosecuted on the basis of a more general law.

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    This does very little to reduce nature's resorts against the overpopulation of humanity. HIV may be one of the world's top killing diseases, but it's only effective as a population control disease if it spreads uncontrollably. Fortunately, the spread of HIV is relatively easy to control: don't have sex with a person until you've confirmed his/her HIV status.

    Actually, thats not entirely true. HIV was a wonderful way of population control. People lived shorter lives, thus people had less children, thus there was less population growth. Furthermore, most of those children they did have were also infected, and many wouldnt make it out of their teens, further reducing the number of people available for reproduction. However, with modern medicine it was already possible to extend life with decades thus reducing the effect on the population control, and modern medicine could also avoid children being born with HIV, thus breaking that infection chain as well.

    I do actually wonder what would happen if you solve the HIV/AIDS problem in Africa. Obviously, more population growth in a for now unsustainable environment. The impact could be disastrous. For now it wont be that easy though, it takes 1 year if they are quick to test it on humans (are they still in the testing phase?) or bring it on the market, and when it does come on the market, the costs will likely be very high. Unless they do it out of the goodness of their hearts, I think its unlikely that such a vaccine will be readily available in Africa for a while.

    Don't get your hopes up. The drive to reproduce is the strongest urge the race has. The "voluntary" cut in western births won't outlast a real problem. Poor people only have one thing to do after the sun goes down.

    Yes, and that is why poor people are poor. They have to many children. Children cost money, the more children you have, the more money it costs you. If you have a set income, dividing your income over more persons means that everyone gets less, which also results in a lesser quality of education and such. However, there are economic reasons in underdeveloped societies to actually produce more children. First of all, child mortality rates are higher, so you need to pump out more babies in order to get enough of them to grow to adulthood. Also, in pre industrial societies, children are seen as a good force of labor. They can work on the land, help their parents. And they are a form of retirement. In many societies the children take care of their parents when they get old, so the more children you have the more people you have to take care of you.

    The west doesnt produce that many children anymore because our society is different. First of all, everyone is encouraged to work, and getting a career going does not mix that well with getting a baby. So many people wait, or they get just one or two children so they can go back to work sooner. And since we put our old people in retirement homes and child labor is illegal, there is no economic incentive anymore to produce a lot of children. In fact, due to the high cost of having children there is a stronger economic incentive not to take on any children. I believe Duke is therefor right, if other countries develop to western levels there are likely more incentives against having more than one or two children, thus stopping population growth.

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    There is an old song called "Ain't we got fun" in which one of the lines is:

    "The rich get richer and the poor get children".

    It was true then (1920's) and it is true now. It has basically always been true. There are two sayings that have the status of proverbs:

    "Be fruitful and multiply".

    "Divide and conquer".

    Keep them in mind. They've been true for millennia.

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    I for one don't believe the world is over populated. The fact is that the worlds resources are mismanaged and that fact is perverted for political purposes. I once read that the population of the world in the late 20th century, standing shoulder to shoulder could all fit in Texas. That leaves an awful lot of land left, so the next time someone says the world is overpopulated take a drive in the countryside or look at some maps and don't be a sheep.

    As for the "hope" that AIDS would reduce world population it probably never will to the point some want. What may succeed where others have failed is just plain ole infection. Our antibiotics are becoming increasingly inaffective and people are dying. At the rate it is going it may one day soon require killing the patient in order to kill the bacterial and fungal infection.

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    I for one don't believe the world is over populated. The fact is that the worlds resources are mismanaged and that fact is perverted for political purposes. I once read that the population of the world in the late 20th century, standing shoulder to shoulder could all fit in Texas. That leaves an awful lot of land left, so the next time someone says the world is overpopulated take a drive in the countryside or look at some maps and don't be a sheep.

    As for the "hope" that AIDS would reduce world population it probably never will to the point some want. What may succeed where others have failed is just plain ole infection. Our antibiotics are becoming increasingly inaffective and people are dying. At the rate it is going it may one day soon require killing the patient in order to kill the bacterial and fungal infection.

    True, I read that the UN calculated the world can handle about 10-11 billion people, if resources are managed carefully. I personally believe this to be true as well. There is so much unused space, as well as inefficient use of resources, we could easily handle a lot more people.

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    But would you really want to have so many people that everyone would have to concentrate on feeding them? We are reaching the point now where there isn't any elbow room in some countries.

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    This is an interesting topic that I am uncertain of. Having vaccines or cures to all known sexually transmitted disease combines with the culture of promiscuity and might increase what some people would consider unwanted sexuality now that there will be no consequences. On the other hand, this will help poor regions, such as Africa with their health issues and lower the cost of treatment because a vaccine is much cheaper than a lifetime of medicine. They even say that the most expensive flu shot you can get (without insurance) is still less expensive that the medicine used to treat the flu, let alone the time missed from work or education.

    --Ocram

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    Unfortunately, the countries that need our medicine and knowledge the most, don't get it. They can't even afford condoms, even if they were allowed to have them.

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    Texas Biomedical Research Institute is better known before 2011 as Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research. It is a sister organization to the Southwest Research Institute, and both were founded in the 1940s by San Antonio by Thomas Slick Jr., whose father had made an oil fortune in the 1920s when San Antonio still remained a convenient headquarters for large oil firms exploring in West Texas. Today, we might make humorous light of the name "Slick" in conjunction with the oil industry, but amusingly, Tom Slick Jr. was better known during his lifetime as a cryptozoological adventurer using his fortune to fund expeditions searching for Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Abominable Snowman. However, he also founded the nonprofit organizations that became Southwest Research and Texas Biomedical. Southwest Research Institute focuses on applied science and engineering research and development, and one of their construction projects is NASA's New Horizons spaceprobe, which will arrive at Pluto in 2015. Texas Biomed focuses on genetics and virology, and should their optimistic timetable for live testing their newly developed vaccine technique play out beginning next year, they could potentially have their HIV vaccine available for by 2015, which would make the year 2015 a big year in the legacy of Tom Slick.

    Live animal testing is reportedly slated to begin this coming January, and Texas Biomed has at their disposal the Southwest National Primate Research Center, whose vast complex most San Antonian's recognize as a local landmark sometimes just called the Monkey Cages. It can actually be frightening to dwell on the research involved, as Texas Biomed handles many of the most virulent and incurable diseases and bioweapons, including ebola, HIV, and anthrax, and the facility includes the only private lab in the U.S. rated for Biosafety Level-4, the highest containment level. If the Zombie Plague ever breaks out, it just may have its origins in San Antonio, Texas, perhaps after an escape or accidental release from the Monkey Cages. Many government and military officials inundated the Southwest Institute for Biomedical Research during the 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic, as South Texas became a hotbed of infection with all the migration between Texas and Mexico.

    San Antonio has slowly become a locus of medical science, not only as the regional base of the University of Texas Health Science Center, the Cancer Therapy and Research Center, and the home of Texas Biomed, but from the Pentagon's centralization of national military medicine and training into the former Brooke Army Medical Center and Army Burn Center as they consolidate and expand into the San Antonio Military Medical Center. This is pooling alot of national resources into the city, with both pivate and government funding sources pouring multiple billions of dollars into huge facility construction, including several of the largest hospitals in the U.S. Department of Defense, buoying San Antonio through the Great recession.

    The final piece of San Antonio's biomedical puzzle would have been the half-billion dollar National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, for which the U.S. Department of Homeland was seeking finalist relocation bids in 2008. Texas Biomed joined in a consortium to create Texas Research Park in the far suburbs of the city, and it is believed the strength the Texas Biomed research team, combined with the centralization of military medical facilities and specialist personnel, created for San Antonio a powerful bid. Former Texas governor George W. Bush held the U.S. Presdiency, and U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison from Texas held seats on key Senate budget allocation and defense committees, offering an additional level of comfort that Texas to promote a winning hearing of its bid. The primary drawback was that the proposed site in the city's remote outskirts required the construction of new service infrastructure, which would increase the project costs, and local and Texas state leaders scrambled to put together a package whereby those costs could be offset by funds from Texas's own state investment pool. State leaders were aghast when Texas Governor Rick Perry, rather than spearhead the effort to promote San Antonio's bid, lethargically dragged his feet through the process and, claiming his hands were tied, deferred the funding issue to the bienniel Texas Legislature, which was unfortunately out of session for that year. Republican and Democratic legislators pleaded for him in bipartisan union to follow through with ad hoc workarounds to reinforce the bid, but, ultimately the governor choose to unsuccessfully ask the Department of the Homeland Security to instead delay the project selection timetable for another year until the Texas Legislature could be convened to authorize a plan. Other states not trapped by a bienniel legislative schedule quickly remodelled their bid packages, and ultimately, the site selected for the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility would be Manhattan, Kansas, and is scheduled to open in 2015. To rub salt in the wound, Texas lawyers challenged the site awarding, arguing that many of the site safety criteria that DHS had vowed to look at fell sway instead to the lowest bidder, as the Kansas site, though in the heart of Tornado Alley, offered the lowest infrastructure construction costs helped by financing offsets from the State of Kansas. In the aftermath, there was some talk about reforming the Texas Constitution to transform the Legislature from a bienniel to an annual body more suited to quickly dealing with the issues of a modern state. Still, Texas's lacsadaisical Gov. Perry had failed, and while he would later try to spin his lack of active performance as an expression of limited government in order to promote his Tea Party credentials, many suspect it is generally a growing disinterest in science and higher education and a rollback away from research and development that has slowly been gripping Texas political leaders, and which was utlimately expressed in billions of dollars shockingly slashed from such budgets in the 2011 session, where eduction took the deepest cuts in order to patch state budget holes.

    Governor Rick Perry would be haunted by the issues of biomedicine during his failed candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, where it was revealed that he had used a 2007 executive order to mandate that Texas schoolgirls receive the Merck HPV vaccine Gardasil to combat cervical cancer. Conservative politicians demonstrated outrage over the power of government to control female health, but, the wildest spectacle was rival contender U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, whose attacks went so far in scaremongering as to accuse all vaccinations generally as being insidiously dangerous. More complicatedly, some conservative parents complained that the vaccination for HPV, which is best administered early to young girls, somehow offered a free pass for later underage sexual activity, or implied or intorduced the stigma of immorality to pre-pubescent schoolgirls. This is a similar conservative criticism against moves to distribute condoms within the population, despite the statistical effectiveness, and helped forge a considerable prejudice hindering early medical efforts against AIDS during the Reagan Administration, which was characterized by a deliberate effort to not speak about a punishment disease strongly associated with homosexuals and immorality. While Gov. Perry's presidential primary campaign predictably and quite painfully imploded on national televison due to his own tongue-tied haplessness, Rep. Bachmann won her re-election to the U.S. Congress despite her dire warnings to unsuspecting mothers on the deadly evils of medical vaccines. It will be interesting to see the next round of political hamstringing and fallout that will arise should Texas Biomed's vaccine patent ultimately yield a viable HIV vaccine, which, if their timetable somehow holds, would be just in time for the 2016 presidential election primaries. Human tests should begin in about a year.

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    But would you really want to have so many people that everyone would have to concentrate on feeding them? We are reaching the point now where there isn't any elbow room in some countries.

    Look at how ineffectively we live. The vast majority of humanity lives along the coasts. Furthermore, a lot of cities, especially some of the older cities are incredibly inefficient in their use of space.

    As for feeding them, we could effectively increase our food production if we wanted too. The problem now is quite frankly, the free market. The food goes to who pays the most, which drives up prices, and not everyone who buys the food also uses it to actually make food. For example, something like 60% of the US corn production goes to companies producing biofuels. Yeah, if you use food as fuel for a motor its obviously impossible to feed someone with it. It also means that for example the EU cant subsidize its farmers anymore, which has resulted in decreased production and rising prices. And systematic mismanagement and underinvestment in Africa has resulted in an inefficient agricultural sector. Proper management and investment there could easily lead to increased food production.

    And that is not even mentioning the technological breakthroughs we can make that can increase food production once again. For example, more greenhouses. And finding a more efficient shape of greenhouse that makes much more effective use of space. Why spread out a greenhouse of a large area and completely disregard the sky? Why not build greenhouses that have multiple stories? Or build them partly underground? Sure, you probably cant raise things like grain or corn or rice effectively in greenhouses, but certain fruits and vegetables are definitely possible.

    Anyways, my point is, we are making incredibly inefficient use of our land and resources. If we can increase efficiency, we can without to much effort take on much more people on earth as well.

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    This I'm going to ask for sources on, because the CDC also has this infographic on its website:

    Figure-2.gif

    got it from this graph here:

    r402a1t1.gif

    it's listed as a source on the german wiki concerning HIV. I have a hard time finding in on the cdc homepage but it's hosted there so I guess it's legit

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    But would you really want to have so many people that everyone would have to concentrate on feeding them? We are reaching the point now where there isn't any elbow room in some countries.

    Look at how ineffectively we live. The vast majority of humanity lives along the coasts. Furthermore, a lot of cities, especially some of the older cities are incredibly inefficient in their use of space.

    As for feeding them, we could effectively increase our food production if we wanted too. The problem now is quite frankly, the free market. The food goes to who pays the most, which drives up prices, and not everyone who buys the food also uses it to actually make food. For example, something like 60% of the US corn production goes to companies producing biofuels. Yeah, if you use food as fuel for a motor its obviously impossible to feed someone with it. It also means that for example the EU cant subsidize its farmers anymore, which has resulted in decreased production and rising prices. And systematic mismanagement and underinvestment in Africa has resulted in an inefficient agricultural sector. Proper management and investment there could easily lead to increased food production.

    And that is not even mentioning the technological breakthroughs we can make that can increase food production once again. For example, more greenhouses. And finding a more efficient shape of greenhouse that makes much more effective use of space. Why spread out a greenhouse of a large area and completely disregard the sky? Why not build greenhouses that have multiple stories? Or build them partly underground? Sure, you probably cant raise things like grain or corn or rice effectively in greenhouses, but certain fruits and vegetables are definitely possible.

    Anyways, my point is, we are making incredibly inefficient use of our land and resources. If we can increase efficiency, we can without to much effort take on much more people on earth as well.

    Something else we do with food that is wasteful is to feed corn to cattle. Yes, this produces the beautiful marbled and great tasting steaks so many are fond of, even addicted to. However it is very inefficient and is not good for the cattle. Feeding corn to cattle causes all kinds of gastric disturbances including ulcers of the stomach and esophagus. To combat this they give the cattle antibiotics. Wonder how much ends up in humans? Cattle were designed to eat a variety of grasses. This creates a healthier meat and a more natural tasteing beef.

    When I was in the Air Force I saw tens of pounds if not hundreds of pounds of prepared food dumped in the trash on a daily basis. This same thing is happening on a smaller scale in home after home in America and other "affluent" countries.

    People need to appreciate their food more and realize that we are one crop failure away from rationing, or even starvation even in these "affluent" countries.

    EDIT: This happened yesterday also...Slow to post then when it does post it makes one post but doubles everything.

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  • This I'm going to ask for sources on, because the CDC also has this infographic on its website:

    Figure-2.gif

    got it from this graph here:

    r402a1t1.gif

    it's listed as a source on the german wiki concerning HIV. I have a hard time finding in on the cdc homepage but it's hosted there so I guess it's legit

    Looking at your data, the reason for the discrepancy is that we're comparing two different sets of data. According to the CDC's graphic on new infection estimates, blood transfusion as a form of infection is effectively non-existent. According to the CDC's table, blood transfusion with contaminated blood carries a 90% probability of infecting the patient. The key here is "with contaminated blood." If you get contaminated blood, odds are very high that you will develop HIV yourself, but the odds of getting that contaminated blood in the first place are far less than 1 in a million. (Some estimates have it approaching 1 in 2 million.)

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    I find it perplexing that the infection rate by sexual methods varies from only 0.005% to 0.5%. And that's without a condom!

    Given the way they teach you about this stuff you'd think the odds are closer to those of russian roulette than "well there's a slight chance".

    Then again, one slight chance multiplied by regular encounters...

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