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VIDEO

The Battle Against HIV and Superviruses

MAR 13, 2019 | CONTAGION® EDITORIAL STAFF

Segment Description: Bluma Brenner, PhD, project director at the Lady Davis Institute at the McGill AIDS Centre, confesses that HIV "terrifies the hell" out of her, as it continues to build resistance against existing therapy regimens.

Interview transcript (modified slightly for readability):

Contagion®:  Why is it so important to continue to develop new options for ART?

Dr. Brenner: "We're seeing superviruses that are capable of infecting multiple people so I believe that the virus is evolving to become fitter and fitter, and we use these fitter viruses to do drug-resistance selections like with drugs like GS-9131. But every time you knock down the virus...this virus terrifies the hell out of me. It attacks the immune system not only of the individual, but of society because it spreads through stigma and whatever. So we we still need to have the ability to handle a disease that knows no boundaries, like you can't build a wall against HIV; it's everywhere. And so we need to know that we'll have some way of tackling it."
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Big advances in treatment can't make up for an inability to stop new infections, which number 5,000 per day worldwide.