Scientists Outline Strategy For AIDS Cure

PARIS, FRANCE:  Calling the AIDS epidemic “the most important global health challenge in modern history,” more than 50 top scientists pressed their case on 12th July for a drive to stop the killer disease in its tracks.
Anchored by Nobel Medicine laureate Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, the group unveiled an aggressive research strategy for an outright cure — an objective once seen as unrealistic and out of reach.

“Not long ago, few considered the possibility that a cure for HIV infection could some day be possible,” said Barre-Sinoussi, who in 1983 helped identify the mysterious virus that causes AIDS.

Today, “the search for a cure has become a top priority in HIV research,” she said in a statement, hailing a “new optimism” among experts.

The blueprint is published in the journal Nature Medicine ahead of a meeting of specialists on July 18-22 at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.

The scientists take stock of many recent gains in treating the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but argue that the solution for ending the pandemic lies in a cure.

In 2004, AIDS deaths peaked at more than two million.

Last year, the toll was around 1.2 million lives — a decline attributed in large part to the success of anti-retroviral (ART) drugs, which reduce the symptoms of people carrying the virus.

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