Kelly's Blog

Stunning successes and devastating failures in the fight against HIV/AIDS

Posted in Breakthroughs, News, Research on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 by Kelly - 1 Comment

I was reading over reports from the briefing held just over a week ago by a host of prominent HIV/AIDS organizations including amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research; AVAC; HIV Medicine Association; IDSA/HIVMA Center for Global Health Policy; the San Francisco AIDS Foundation; and the Treatment Action Group.

The keynote speaker was Anthony Fauci, MD, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health.

I like to look at the positive first, so let me share a bit about what they found was working for us right now. “More than 30 effective antiretroviral drugs are approved for use in HIV/AIDS, and these have “totally transformed the lives of HIV-infected individuals,” Dr. Fauci said. “We went from a 26-week lifespan to a 40-year-plus life span” for those infected with the virus in the past 15 years.

Of concern is that for every person who started on antiretroviral therapy in 2008, 2 to 3 people were infected with HIV. “We are not winning the game,” he said.

According to Dr. Fauci, we can reach our goal of controlling and ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic by focusing on three areas: scaling up delivery of proven therapies, curing existing infections, and preventing new infections. He feels that our greatest hope is a “functional cure,” in which HIV patients are treated early and aggressively and then go into permanent remission where the virus no longer replicates.

Dr. Fauci went on to say an additional strategy for preventing new infections was “critical” and “eminently feasible.” This strategy includes use of microbicides, male circumcision, blood supply screening, and the use of clean syringes and condoms.

But there have been devastating failures in reaching our goal of creating a vaccine that will prevent infection. “Last year for the first time we had the first signal of a success in a vaccine trial,” Dr. Fauci said. Much more research must still done.

It seems that we remain in the position where individual behavior is our primary weapon for prevention. We can provide the tools that assist with prevention, but they must be used.

As Dr. Fauci says, there may be an impression “that we really have our arms around this and that things are stable and they are not.”

Our science has brought us to the point of creating what can be described now as a chronic disease, but not to the point of curing it or truly preventing it. Stunning successes mixed with devastating failures – very much like a life spent living the battle of HIV.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Add to favorites
  • Digg

One Response to “Stunning successes and devastating failures in the fight against HIV/AIDS”

  • Angie says:

    Love your posts. Lot’s of great information for me to share with my support group.

    Please keep them ocming. We need someone like you Kelly.


Leave a Reply

CommentLuv Enabled
Living a positive life is more than a diagnosis. We seek the solutions and you get the updates here.

You'll receive one of the very first copies of my soon to be released video 30 Minutes - 10 Experts: What They Want You To Know About HIV!

I asked 10 experts from across this country to share a vital message about HIV. These are words they each want you to take to heart when you watch this inspiring video. Be the first in line!

Once a week I will send you my update on HIV/AIDS including interviews with experts, tips on health and wisdom, and share a few jokes. JOIN US!

We PROMISE to NEVER sell, trade or rent your name and email address.

Find Kelly On...

We use social media to communicate and share ideas on a daily basis.We hope you will join us to get the most up to date information on HIV/AIDS news, research and events. We focus on prevention, treatment and living with HIV.