Ben Virginia

The Global Killer, HIV and AIDS

HIV and AIDS continue to kill people worldwide. We are closer than ever to finding a cure and cannot give up now.

November 2,2016

Dear President,

I do not believe there has ever been a better candidate than you. All of your debates went well, you have great reasons for campaigning, and I just think you are a great person. I hope your term goes as well as you hope for. I wrote this letter in concern of HIV and AIDS, a disease that continues to be a global problem. Living with HIV is a problem because even low levels of the virus can leave patients more susceptible to diseases of aging: heart attacks, malignancies, and central nervous system problems (Cohen). As of June 2016, approximately 36.7 million people are living with HIV around the world, and from those 36.7 million people, an additional 2.1 million people were newly infected (-,By).

The idea of a cure began shortly after the virus surfaced in 1981(Cohen). Since then, antiretroviral drugs have been developed, and as of 2015, approximately 17 million people had access to these medications (-,By). The problem with these drugs is not that they aren’t effective, it’s that they are not as effective or successful as they could be.

One of my dear friends lived with HIV for ten years before it got the best of her. I still remember to this day her talking about all the suffering she went through because she could never stay healthy. One drug that could cure, or even keep a victim from experiencing the detrimental effects of HIV and AIDS would be life changing not just for people here in the United States, but also for people across the globe.

The current antiretroviral medications target antibody response through the production of cytokine-2s. Studies show that medication which triggers the cellular immune response, are more effective than those that trigger antibody response. The reason the cellular immune response is thought to be more effective is because the body will sacrifice part of itself, an infected cell, to protect the greater whole (Shearer). This theory has been tested in animals, but the animals were not tested with HIV. Instead, they were tested with a similar virus, one that would produce the same effect as HIV. The idea of triggering the cellular immune response has not directly been tested on HIV, but previous studies of other diseases show great potential for the idea.

My dear friend that I mentioned just a bit ago passed away due to AIDS. She took medication daily and I can recall her saying how discouraging it was that she knew she would die from the disease. To this day there is still no cure, and with as much research that has been conducted we cannot be that far off from one. We cannot stop the funding to HIV and AIDS research, if anything we need to boost their funds.

Another potential hope of a cure for HIV and AIDS is the CRISPR system. The CRISPR system lets scientists disable genes with ease, and scientists have shown that it’s possible to use CRISPR to rid mice of muscular dystrophy, cure them of a rare liver disease, make human cells immune to HIV, and genetically modify monkeys. No CRISPR drug exists yet (Regalado), but if it’s proven to be as successful as it has tested, then we as humans could survive the dominant virus that is HIV. The disease that over 35 million have died from (-,By). Scientists are as close to a cure as they have ever been, so funding needs to keep going their way. They need the money so they can cure what is perhaps one of the most deadly diseases ever to have existed on planet Earth.

Scientists are closer than ever to finding a cure. There are several possible solutions to curing HIV and AIDS and they need to be tested, but with testing comes a hefty price. The money we fund the scientists with could potentially save us money in the long run. The money we spend now will keep people from having to buy the expensive antiretrovirals that are currently available, drugs that many people cannot afford. Please do not let me down or any of the people who have contracted HIV.

Your Fond Citizen,


Works Cited

Biever, Celeste. "Making people immune to HIV." New Scientist 2 July 2005: 14. Information

Science and Library Issues Collection. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.

“-, By. "Fact Sheet 2016." UNAIDS. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2016.

Cohen, Jon. "Can AIDS be cured? Drugs can control HIV, but they exact a steed cost. Now,

researchers are pursuing radical new ways to eliminate the infection entirely." Technology

Review [Cambridge, Mass.] July-Aug. 2010: 44+. Information Science and Library

Issues Collection. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.

Khamsi, Roxanne. "Vaccine to fend off HIV moves a step closer." New Scientist 19 Aug. 2006:

12. Information Science and Library Issues Collection. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.

Regalado, Antonio. "Who owns the biggest biotech discovery of the century? There's a bitter

fight over the patents for CRISPR, a breakthrough new form of DNA editing."

Technology Review [Cambridge, Mass.] Mar.-Apr. 2015: 13+. Information Science and

Library Issues Collection. Web. 29 Sept. 2016.

Shearer, Gene M., and Mario Clerici. "Resisting AIDS: another vaccine approach." Technology

Review July 1995: 22+. Information Science and Library Issues Collection. Web. 29 Sept.


Eastern View High School

AP Language & Composition

AP Language & Composition students (11th grade) from Eastern View High School in Culpeper, VA are tasked with researching platforms, crafting political cartoons or pieces of satire, and writing letters and op-eds

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