Injecting ourselves with an unregulated gene therapy

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Aaditi Lele
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Injecting ourselves with an unregulated gene therapy

Recently, a 28 year old male Tristan Roberts injected himslef with an unregulated gene thearapy to experiment and see what effects it has on his HIV infection. He was diagnosed HIV 6 years ago and stopped taking antiretriviral drugs 2 years ago. He gives many reasons for this including the side effects and also the fact that he would have to continue the medication lifelong. Instead, he wishes to get cured. In his search for a cure he  came across this untested, experimental gene therapy and decided to try it on himself. Many scientists and bioethicists are not happy with this growing trend of biohackers and self experimenting people. Some are calling this a dillusonal behavior while others labeling the stint not just risky but also frightening. You can read BBC news article about this here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41990981?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3A...What do you guys think of this? Is it ethical ? Given the reasons of the young guy infected with HIV , is it okay to allow people that are untrained in medicine or genetic engineering to self-experiment like this? We are completely unaware what side-effects it could bring in future. It opens up a complete new area for discussion as to what extent people should be given freedom to experiment.