Audio Interview

Combating the HIV epidemic

Published on October 12, 2020   24 min

Other Talks in the Playlist: Research and Clinical Interviews

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Interviewer: Dr. Blattner, thank you very much for sparing the time to speak to us today. I've enjoyed listening to both of your talks, the first given in 2007 and the later one recorded recently. If I've understood the position correctly, it now seems to be the case that most people who are HIV positive can expect to live a normal life. Is that correct? Dr. Blattner: There has been tremendous advances in the treatment of HIV to the point where a single pill daily can basically give a person a full life without any other mortality, except for those that are normal with aging. There is a caveat, however, that there is some evidence that a variety of so-called metabolic diseases seem to be amplified in persons with HIV, perhaps related to their immune activation that's associated with HIV. Cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, etc., do contribute to an increased mortality beyond the mortality that was associated with the immune deficiency of HIV before treatment. Interviewer: However, in your 2007 lecture there was a reference to a vaccine possibly being available in 7-10 years time. What happened to that prediction? Dr. Blattner: Well, it's still 7-10 years. What I mean by that is that HIV has proven to be a much more difficult vaccine target than was felt to be the case in the mid 2000s. This has to do not only with the strategy that the virus uses to infect the host,