poem: HIV, 7/2013

HIV,  7/2013

Amazing news, there’s hope of cure for AIDS.

Two Boston men have stopped their drugs; so far

It’s fifteen weeks, and virus can’t be found.

Too soon to say it’s cured; OK to say

‘Remission’ though.  Exciting times!  The drugs,

The antiretrovirals, keep disease

At bay; if stopped, the germ returns within

Four weeks.  It hides in certain blood cells, so

Must treat for life.  The drugs are very dear.

There’s more than thirty million souls now need

These drugs for life, and governments will find

It hard to pay.  So how to kill those last

Remaining hiding HIV?  We know

From Boston stem cell transplants over-run

The patient’s own blood cells and hiding AIDS

Germs, so it seems.  Will HIV return?

Too soon to say but drugs in these two men

Have now been stopped for fifteen weeks –  it points

Towards a cure.  Transplant themselves are oh

So risky – high mortality, but chink

In armour has been found.  The drugs have saved

So many lives, and now there’s hope this scourge,

This fearsome plague will now one day be gone.

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