AIDS 2010 Heralds Continued Innovation in Global AIDS Response
Exciting New Avenues of Research and Policy Drive Expansion of HIV Treatment Access, Use of Antiretroviral to Prevent Infections and Pursuit of a Cure
ISLAMABAD July 21, 2010: The unwillingness of the global AIDS community to accept the status quo is fuelling a new era of scientific innovation to drive novel ways of treating and preventing HIV, organizers of the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) taking place in Vienna, Austria said today. And, with millions of lives dependent on expanding access to antiretroviral treatment to all those clinically in need, researchers and clinicians are partnering in new ways to find the most effective and efficient methods to deliver treatment and strengthen health systems. A new Medicines Patent Pool described in today’s plenary session also offers the possibility of broader access to more effective and less toxic regimens.
“The inspiring element of the conference so far has been the marriage of cutting edge science and innovative policy and programming,” said Dr. Brigitte Schmied, AIDS 2010 Local Co-Chair and President of the Austrian AIDS Society. “We need that same energy and creativity to break through the HIV-related stigma and discrimination that prevents too many from benefitting from the knowledge we already have about how to save lives.”
Growing evidence of the power of antiretroviral drugs to prevent new infections offers the possibility of a major step toward universal access to HIV prevention while increasing access to lifesaving care. The use of treatment science to develop new prevention modalities, such as the antiretroviral-based vaginal microbicide used in the CAPRISA trial, whose results were released this week, is a further example of the drive to provide a variety of effective new prevention options.
“Additional evidence demonstrating the potential use of antiretroviral drugs to prevent infections coupled with other exciting scientific advances discussed this week signal a potential new era in innovation,” said Dr. Julio Montaner, AIDS 2010 Chair, President of the International AIDS Society and Director of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in Vancouver, Canada. “At the same time, with lifesaving treatment and prevention tools readily available now, world leaders must step up and fund universal access.”
There is also an increasing focus on the development and pursuit of strategies for a cure. Key experts in the area of latent viral reservoirs met just prior to the conference to examine new scientific results in this arena to inform the way forward. The meeting was also convened to encourage young investigators to work on this priority topic.