HIV has been a prevalent concern for decades; currently 37 million people worldwide suffer from it. Now that scientists are getting close to curing it a burning question resurfaces about the origin and lack of a complete cure of the disease.
Many question the nature of the pharmaceutical industry, especially with personas like Martin Shkreli raising the price of a drug that helps treat AIDS from $13.50 to $750 per pill.
He openly highlights the darker greedier underbelly of pharmaceutical companies who rake in billions. There is no argument that needs to be made that there is serious profit to be made off of sickness, or more bluntly the prolonged treatment of it.
It follows that if there is such immense profit involved in the treatment of an ailment that any threat to that is a threat to a corporation’s ‘success’. The Dallas Buyers club is just one example of how alternative treatments are at times frowned upon and disregarded by the establishment, even if they are found to be successful. Albeit the counter to this is that many of these experimental treatments are dangerous and at times even lethal. By virtue of this there needs to be a regulating body to control what is cleared as a safe treatment.
There is a line of thought that perhaps HIV is man-made and that individuals who have come closer to curing or providing a more successful treatment for it have been shut down and swept under the rug. They are seen as a threat to profitability and ultimately the question of ethics is not seen as an issue.
As bold a statement as that may be, there is arguably more veracity into what that idea taps into than many are prepared to admit. When discussing what essentially falls under the category of ‘a conspiracy theory’ there is a natural stigma surrounding such an outlandish claim. Yet many of us openly decry corrupt politicians, bankers and commercial corporations for outrageous and unbelievable acts of wanton greed, why should the medical industry not fall under such scrutiny?
Of course these types of theories can be seen to belittle the work of thousands of scientists who work tirelessly every day in order to combat diseases like HIV. It seems far-fetched that in all the countries in the world there would be a means of subduing and burying research that threatens to cut into monetary profit. It is simply impossible to bury all the scientists and researchers in the world.
In the UK we benefit from the NHS and don’t quite have to worry about having to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds for treatments and surgeries, at least not yet. With the looming ‘threat’ of privatisation of the NHS it is imperative now more than ever to question the nature of pharmaceutical corporations and whether or not they do prolong the release of cures to profit from treatments.