Abstract for: Did System Dynamics Find a Cure for HIV? …And is that just the start?
What is the societal obligation of those who have exceptional expertise in system dynamics? System dynamics may make immense business, science and human contribution in many areas, but one of the great opportunities for impact is from careful application to the function and malfunction of human biological systems. When the systems of the human body work well, they are perhaps the most elegant of all control systems, and when they malfunction they yield the most complex, intractable disorders affecting humankind, from autoimmune disorders such as type 1 diabetes, to the immune deficiency of HIV, to cancers of every form. We have employed system dynamics modeling to simulate, and to design a cure for, HIV. More than 30 years since its identification, HIV still afflicts millions of people, and causes 5,000 deaths per day. Conventional therapies have all focused on constraining the virus; they do not cure the disease, Our system dynamics model accurately simulates the course of HIV in the body; analyses have identified a multi-therapy treatment that eliminates the virus in the simulation. Clinical trials are under way to test that solution. Is this but the first example of systemic human disorders that benefit from SD modeling?