AIDS Nelson Vergel, AIDS expert, talks HIV and healthy aging by Kate Sosin, Windy City TimesNelson Vergel
|AIDS Nelson Vergel, AIDS expert, talks HIV and healthy agingby Kate Sosin, Windy City Times2011-06-08|
Nelson Vergel is not what you think of when you say “AIDS over 50.”With hefty round muscles pushing out against a tight blue t-shirt and a lively demeanor, Vergel looks more like Mighty Mouse than a person resistant to nearly every HIV drug on the market. But Vergel is in the business of de-bunking myths about aging with HIV, and while his own HIV is a struggle, he’s also the living example of his work.
Vergel presented some of the latest findings on HIV and aging at Center on Halsted May 31, during his free talk, “Promising Advances in HIV Cure and Healthy Aging Research.” The event was sponsored by Test Positive Aware Network.
The Houston-based author and activist focused heavily on the scientific reasons why a cure to HIV/AIDS is both a distant dream and an impending reality. But while Vergel is following progress on possible cures, his own work focuses on informing other HIV-positive people on the changes HIV causes in the body and strategies for living well with the virus.
“We’re getting older. What is the quality of life going to be?” Vergel asked an audience of about 30 people.
According to Vergel, medication is just one of four useful in battling HIV. He also includes stress reduction, exercise, and nutrition.
In three years, he said, there will be four once-a-day HIV pills on the market (there is currently just one—Atripla). Still, HIV drug production is slowing because it’s less profitable than other drugs.