Monday, November 14

The Man Who Beat HIV

Almost as long as we've known about HIV, there's been this idea that someone, somewhere, must have the genetic capacity to survive the infection and thereby unlock the biological secret to defeating the virus. (James Shapely, a character in William Gibson's Virtual Light, filled this role, ushering in a cyberpunk future without AIDS.) Now, British scientists think they may have discovered such a man. Meet Andrew Stimpson, who contracted HIV in 2002 but whose blood carries no trace today, despite never going on medication.

Given the sensationalist treatment of this topic in the papers, not to mention the longevity of this "genetic messiah" meme, I'm not sure this is anything to get worked up about.