HIV research

Sunday October 15, 2017

I remember back in fall semester 2014, I took an introductory course in microbiology. It was the first time I learned streaking bacteria on plates and watching them grow, later to be identified and characterized. The course had a heavy emphasis on bacteria, although we were also exposed to materials related to viruses and bacteriophages.

I remember that one fine day, we watched a movie during the class time about the emergence of the HIV infection and the AIDS epidemic in the United States. The movie was “And The Band Played On”, an adaptation of a book written by Randy Shilts (that was his second book, FYI). Fast forward a few years later, in fall semester 2016 I took the human immunology course and I bumped into HIV/AIDS again. The instructor told us that no one should die because of HIV/AIDS in 2016 in developed nations because we have ways to suppress it.

HIV is a particularly interesting virus. It is not that it has an impregnable capsid that resists all insults, but rather it hides within our genome, piggy-backing on us while occasionally producing virions to continue its survival. It infects and killer T cells, an important immune cell type. When the number of T cells dropping, an infected individual would be severely weakened. Opportunistic pathogens see an opening and waste no time.

I don’t intend to write a very long article about this. On Caspershire Vault, I have an entry on HIV vaccine trials that have been going around. We haven’t had yet a dramatic success with our vaccine strategy, but we are slowly getting there. I am hopeful about this as our knowledge grows over the time. This entry on Caspershire Meta will serve as a reference pointer to materials related to this disease. I will be updated from time to time to reflect changes.

Primer initiated on October 15th, 2017. Expecting more updates.


More updates!

updated on October 21st, 2017