~ kusala
[ ku-sa-la: Pali term meaning wholesome, skillful, good, meritorious. ]
[ Action characterized by this quality (kusala-kamma) is bound to result (eventually) in happiness and a favorable outcome. ]


2006-06-06 - 8:20 a.m.

Living in a Lifeboat

I was actually moved to tears yesterday by the following excerpt from a sidebar to an article in the Los Angeles Times regarding the 25th Anniversary of the appearance in the U.S. of what is now known as HIV.

It relates to issues that I think about often. Really often.

I also watched a copy I taped of And the Band Played On again last week, probably for the first time since it screened on HBO around 1993. It still holds up and was quite moving.

I'm thinking lately, as I so often have, of potential careers in public health.

Gottlieb knows that Dagri is up against a wall. Of the two dozen or so drugs on the market, he is resistant to all but two.

"I've always looked at AIDS therapy as a series of leaky lifeboats," Gottlieb says. "You stay in the first one until you're sinking, then you jump to another one. But you don't give up looking for others."

Lately, Dagri has been taking an experimental drug, maraviroc. For the first time in years, his T cell count a key measure of his immune system's strength has jumped into a passable range.

Gottlieb is encouraged, but Dagri worries the drugs will eventually fail like the others. "If they don't invent another one, I'm as good as dead," he says.

In the old days, Gottlieb says, he used to sign two or three death certificates a week. Lately, it's about six a year.

"He's doing OK," Gottlieb says, with a tilt of his head.

~Los Angeles Times; June 5, 2006

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