Untested Gene Therapy: Why did Tristan Roberts Inject Himself?
Last month, Tristan Roberts became the first human to inject himself with an untested, experimental gene therapy directly into his stomach fat, live on Facebook.
After being diagnosed with HIV six years ago, he soon became tired of taking conventional antiretrovial drugs, so stopped two years ago. He hated the side effects, and rejected the idea of being on medication for the rest of his life, instead he was seeking a cure.
Robert’s notion soon caught the eye of Ascendance Biomedical, a team of bio-hackers who believed that they could bring a cure to market faster and more cheaply than institutions hampered by regulations and corporate concerns over profitability.
Complying to the FDA, Robert was free to carry out such an act. However, an abundance of bioethicists aren’t too happy about the practice. One critique in particular came from Scott Burris, an expert on HIV public health policy at Temple University.
He said, “This is delusional behaviour. It’s plausible to me that this guy isn’t even on planet Earth.”
Read the full story from the BBC here.