Why 'the Berlin Patient' is NOT heralding the end of AIDS

Jul 25, 2012

Even though the AIDS epidemic is still spreading, the disease is not killing as many people as it used to, because of new drugs. And that's emboldened many leading AIDS researchers and policymakers to talk about ending the epidemic in the next few years.

KPLU’s Humanosphere blogger Tom Paulson is at the International AIDS conference this week in Washington, DC, and talked to KPLU's Keith Seinfeld about why anyone believes it's possible to adopt a slogan like "the AIDS free generation" – and why Bill Gates calls that unrealistic.

(Listen to the audio for the interview, and see Paulson's posts about Bill Gates' skepticism and about the buzz created by "the Berlin Patient," a Seattle man who was cured of AIDS, following a bone marrow transplant he got while in Berlin.)

(Note - the interview inadvertently refers to the Berlin Patient's cure as "accidental" whereas the doctors who gave him the transplant were intentionally testing a hypothesis, so the patient's recovery was not an accident.)