A week before the start of the international conference on AIDS in Washington, health officials and researchers are optimistic about the possibility of ending this devastating pandemic through the arsenal of existing treatments.
“Turning the tide of the pandemic to achieve a generation free of AIDS” is one of the themes of the 19th biennial International Conference on AIDS to be held from July 22 to 27 in Washington.
Ending the AIDS pandemic is possible? Yes, if we are to believe Dr. Fauci, a prominent American virologist who said in an interview with AFP.
“This will get the first generation free from the threat of infection since the emergence of the virus responsible for this scourge,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“We begin to realize that he can actually act on the infection and to change the course of the pandemic,” says the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a virologist at the forefront the fight against AIDS for 25 years.
He insists that “we do not mean healing” of AIDS, because “we do not even know yet if we can achieve,” concedes the researcher. “We have effective treatments” (antiretrovirals, ed) to control the virus, allowing “the infected, who must take them forever, to stay relatively healthy,” he recalls.
The results of recently published clinical trials show the efficacy of antiretroviral drugs to prevent the risk of infection in HIV negative subjects. They suggest “it is possible to greatly accelerate the reduction of new infections,” says Dr. Fauci. Because with the current rate of decline in infection rates – 1.5% per year for ten years in the world – the end of the pandemic remains a very distant in the future, he concedes.
Ending the pandemic means that after a while there will be few new infections if it will make possible to have an AIDS-free generation, says the head of NIAID, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH ). The NIH is the primary source of public funding of medical research.....
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