NHK Reports on HIV Biohackers

Transcript

David Ishee: "If you just do nothing, then it continues. From the point where we have the ability and choose not to exercise, all the suffering that comes after is the product of our choice. We chose to let them suffer."

Moreover, a live-stream shocked the whole nation last year. A HIV positive person did a experiment of genetic modification on his own body, hoping that he could get cured. No medical expert was involved there.

Tristan Roberts: Our project is — because — it's looking like it would be affordable for any one to be able to modify their genetic behavior.

Mr. Tristan Roberts works as writer in the field of new technology. He takes drug not to increase the number of HIV virus. Considering the cost of drug and side effects that last for the rest of his life, he wanted to be cured completely. He came across an article of NIH which was published 2 years ago. And it mentioned the existence of a gene that attacks HIV.

Tristan Roberts: "One on this side and one on this side. That was it."

To be able to access the treatment using this gene, people have to wait years for clinical trials. So, Mr. Roberts decided to experiment using his own body. A group of individual researchers helped him to get the gene.

Tristan Roberts: "There is many promising treatments that maybe it worked in animals or maybe it worked in few humans. It never ends up reaching people who need the treatment. The possibility of doing good for thousands of people out weighted possibility of something bad happening to me."

Since the experiment more than half a year ago, the effect of reducing HIV virus has not been confirmed. Also, so far, side effects have not appeared.

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