Annabelle (also known as The Sh-eenager) and I, were having a chat this morning, insofar as you can ever describe trying not to get murdered in your own kitchen by a hormonal schitzo ‘a chat’.
Anyway, she asked about AIDS.
Her adorable questions used to revolve around things like the possibility of a mermaid being discovered in the local water reserve, or whether her Build-a-Bear monkey had fallen or jumped off of her bed during the night.
But this is a new age; the age of Instagram, Shane Dawson Youtube videos and questions about sexual transmitted diseases over her morning waffles.
Never try and slide un-toasted, ‘just out of the packet’ waffles past her of a morning or Waffle-Zilla begins sprouting horns and a tail.
Girl can’t see to walk down a flight of stairs at 7am but her sense of smell is predatory.
Anyway, cool, a bit of morning banter about AIDS.
But it was okay, she didn’t want tablets from the medicine drawer, what she wanted to know was how come, if it was that bad, it done got cured.
As ever, with my neurologically challenged hood-rat, I find it a super parenting strategy not to focus too much on the originating point of her train of thought, and just get myself out of the quicksand as speedily as possible. Attempting to untangle the random firing of her thought processes is going to be a waste of time, at least until it’s legal for me to finally crack open her brain, and see what the heck is going on in there.
She makes a good point though.
Okay, it did take a few decades to not exactly cure AIDS, but certainly get it to a point where it’s manageable. The drug treatments these days mean that it can’t be transmitted sexually or mother to baby and life expectancy of the afflicted is largely unaffected so, to all intents and purposes, cured it got.
And, when you come to think about it, the Ebola virus, which was apparently a real buzz-kill, got sorted over the space of a weekend.
Since viruses are notoriously the most difficult things to treat due to their ever evolving DNA, how is it that focused attention by the World Health Organisation, on the viruses among us, seem to get them sorted lickety-split and yet, despite millions and gillions of money being poured into ‘finding a cure’ cancer is getting more popular than ever?
Cancer charities are doing a roaring trade.
Runathons. Cakeathons. Schoolathons.
The many, many cancer charities are advertising year round to get us all thinking of, and frozen with fear by, the spectre of this terrifying illness.
Cancer Research are, if their name is to be believed, undertaking research.
And have merrily been doing so since 1995.
Big pharma are pumping out drugs and securing billions and billions in research grants.
Universities are involved, but then again, so is funding.
Now, don’t be misled into believing that I’m treating this subject lightly, a very dear friend of mine is currently undergoing chemo for breast cancer and I’m worried sick about her.
Which actually gives me a greater investment in expecting an answer to the following question.
How come it’s only contagious illnesses that seem to get successfully cured?
Because, for me at least, attempting to swallow the fact that cancer still can’t be meaningfully managed needs to be followed by, at the very least, a pinch of salt.
If not an entire pig.