How To End AIDS Without a Cure

Some AIDS activists and epidemiologists believe that agressive testing and treatment might be enough to stave off the epidemic for good. 

Despite all the talk of exciting scientific advances, there may be a simpler approach to ending the epidemic than a cure.

Because antiretroviral therapy renders people with HIV effectively non-infectious, one way to rid the world of the virus is to be more vigilant about testing and more aggressive in immediately treating those who become infected. Public health expert Brian Williams of the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modeling and Analysis says that this "Test and Treat" strategy could halt the spread of HIV in five years and end the epidemic altogether in 40 years

But others, including President Obama's public health advisor Ezekiel Emanuel, don't believe that we can treat our way out of HIV/AIDS. In a Huffington Post op-ed, Emanuel responds to critics who claimed that the Obama administration's policies were causing deaths in Africa. "There is not a one-to-one relationship between the input of dollars spent and the output of improved health or lives saved," he says.

In his Big Think interview, physician and activist Paul Bellman responds to Emanuel's claim, arguing that treatment as prevention is a viable public health strategy.

The downside to this strategy is the cost. "Test and Treat" would cost $3-4 billion a year in South Africa alone, Williams estimates. Given the economic state of the West, this kind of massive global initiative seems highly unlikely.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

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  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
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Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

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