Surviving AIDS

Feb 02, 1999 on PBS at 9:00 PM


The past five years have seen remarkable progress in both treatment and basic understanding of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. In laboratories and clinics across the country and around the world, scientists and doctors have p... (more)ooled their expertise to keep people infected with HIV alive and disease-free longer than was imaginable at the start of the epidemic. And now, through what may well be an unprecedented cross-fertilization process among molecular biologists, immunologists, geneticists, and practicing physicians, a series of discoveries about HIV-infected patients who have successfully fought off AIDS for as long as 20 years are being closely analyzed for clues to the ultimate goal in this fierce scientific battle—a vaccine. NOVA tells the story of this ongoing battle through the experiences of patients like Robert Massie, a "long-term non-progressor." Massie, a 43-year old environmental activist and Episcopalian minister was infected by a blood transfusion in 1978 and after an acute period of illness, somehow his immune system has kept the HIV virus at bay without drugs. Surviving AIDS reveals the scientific community engaged in an enormous and ongoing struggle, with discoveries traveling from labs to patients and back. And NOVA brings together the most promising research with compelling human stories of the patients and doctors who are devoting themselves to unraveling one of the most complicated mysteries in scientific history.

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Season 26 Episode 2

Jan 19, 1999

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Escape! Because Accidents Happen: Fire (1)
Season 26 Episode 4

Feb 16, 1999

Guest stars

Edward Herrmann