Nipping HIV in the bed

So another World AIDS Day (and this blog’s second birthday) has come and gone. We learned that 2.7 million mothers, lovers, children, school teachers, preachers, husbands and friends became infected with a rather fragile and still potentially fatal virus last year. Each of those prevention failures cost taxpayers about US$ 3,000. Since we’ve known how to prevent HIV for nearly three decades, that’s pretty pathetic. What we need is radical new approaches, and I’m pleased to suggest one.


Pictured above is the miraculous Ceragem massage bed. Promoters of a clinic in South Africa claim that the bed cures AIDS. That’s great news, of course. But why stop there? A truly visionary charlatan would see much greater possibilities. We know that post-exposure prophylaxis works — that taking antiretrovirals very soon after exposure can prevent HIV taking hold in the body. The big HIV news of 2010 is likely to be that pre-exposure prophylaxis works too — we can prevent HIV taking hold by taking antiretorvirals shortly before we do something dumb like have sex without a condom with someone who’s likely to be infected. What’s the obvious gap? Since most HIV infections are contracted in bed, we could run this miracle bed-cure into pending exposure prophylaxis: let’s prevent HIV taking hold at the very moment that people are swapping infected body fluids. Just have sex in one of our massage beds and you’ll never need to think about latex again. I’m looking forward to hearing from the venture capitalists among you…

Thanks to Babe for pointing me in the direction of this great business opportunity.

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This post was published on 03/12/09 in Money and AIDS.

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