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At the end of 2012, Robert Silman was phoned by a friend who said: “You remember your medical thriller about using the Leukemic virus to cure AIDS, well I’ve just read that someone has used the AIDS virus to cure Leukemia”. You can see some of these news articles here>>

The core of the book was a piece of science fiction, the novel idea of using one virus to fight another. Robert Silman, who is in fact a research scientist/doctor had the idea of bringing together two viruses, each of which cause a disease, but which in combination might cure both diseases. HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) destroys human T cells thereby causing AIDS; HTLV (the human leukemic virus) multiplies human T cells thereby causing Leukemia. His idea was that if you gave HTLV to someone with AIDS, you might multiply the T cells as rapidly as they were destroyed; and, vice versa, if you gave HIV to someone with Leukemia, you might destroy the T cells as rapidly as they were multiplying.

The book was written in the 1990s at the height of the AIDS epidemic when the gay community particularly was threatened with a life threatening incurable and untreatable disease. At the time, the book was offered to all the major literary agents and publishers and was rejected by one and all. They thought the central idea of using one virus to battle another was too eccentric and improbable to be credible. The book has lain dormant ever since. Now that science has mirrored fiction, the book is finally being published. The text has not been changed. It is set firmly in 1990s when the paranoia around AIDS was at its height. And its last three lines:
He had leukaemia. He’d given it to himself!
And there was no cure.
Except, maybe, HIV?

which were written nearly 20 years ago, foresee the scientific breakthrough reported in the news articles from last year.

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