Letter: Aids still kills

While acknowledging the tremendous benefit that the new protease inhibitor drugs have brought to many, it is important to realise how far we still are from a cure for Aids ("When plagues end", Review, 16 February).

Similar claims were made when AZT (the first effective drug for Aids) became available in the 1980s, only to be followed by disappointment when it was realised many were unable to take the drug, and that, for those for whom it was effective, the benefits wore off after little more than a year.

The new drugs have only been available for a few months and there are already many accounts of people for whom the side-effects are unbearable, as well as the first reports emerging of people developing resistance to them. Medical research must continue as well as education, for education is the only effective "vaccine" for Aids.

Annabel Kanabus

Aids Education and

Research Trust

Horsham, West Sussex