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Mexfiles’ donors save millions of lives (well, indirectly)

23 November 2010

This morning’s New York Times:

In a development that could change the battle against AIDS, researchers have found that taking a daily antiretroviral pill greatly lowers the chances of getting infected with the virus.

In the study, published Tuesday by the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that the hundreds of gay men randomly assigned to take the drugs were 44 percent less likely to get infected than the equal number assigned to take a placebo.

But when only the men whose blood tests showed they had taken their pill faithfully every day were considered, the pill was more than 90 percent effective, said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, head of the division of the National Institutes of Health, which paid for the study along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“That’s huge,” Dr. Fauci said. “That says it all for me.”

The large study, nicknamed iPrEx, included nearly 2,500 men in six countries and was coordinated by the Gladstone Institutes of the University of California, San Francisco.

The results are the best news in the AIDS field in years…

Not Mexfiles, but donors to Mexfiles  had an unsung role in this important development.  Without having kept the lights and telephone on, this study might not have been completed.

Being always short of cash, Mexfiles Central (aka, the other bedroom) moved out of the second bedroom to the corner of the main room so the room could be rented for the winter to a woman from Seattle whose priority wasn’t so much a cheap place to live two blocks from a tropical beach, but 24-7 internet access.

Medical breakthroughs depend on more than just scientists and the test participants (who all are being deservedly celebrated).  To make sense of a study — especially one covering six different countries — somebody has to look at mounds of data.  Which means someone has to put the data together.  Which is done in Seattle, by under-paid data crunchers.

Seattle is expensive — and wet, and gloomy, in the winter … so…

I guess this is one of those time  From each according to their ability... might translate into a value-added product far beyond our expectations.

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