Wednesday, 20 July, 2011 (Rome, Italy) - Researchers speaking on the final day of the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011) have focused on the growing interest in the scientific path to an HIV Cure. Discussions around an HIV cure have been growing over the past 12 months and are now gaining momentum with the establishment of an International AIDS Society (IAS) convened working group concentrating its initial efforts on establishing a global scientific strategy. A number of abstracts have featured research on a cure at the conference in Rome, which has been attended by over 5,000 researchers, clinicians and community leaders since Sunday.
"Fifteen years ago, even the most optimistic members of the scientific community were silent about the prospect of an HIV cure or vaccine," said IAS 2011 International Chair and IAS President, Elly Katabira. "Today, there is a reemergence of hope that the long-term remission of an infected individual is a realistic objective. The IAS is proud to be leading the coordination of the research effort and we look forward to the unveiling of the global scientific strategy at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington next year."
Researchers also highlighted the need to scale up programmes that could more effectively address both the issues of injecting drug use linked HIV transmission and the still unacceptably high mortality rates amongst pregnant women and young children in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.
"While these may be scientifically exciting times we just cannot afford to take our eyes off the huge gaps that still remain in the roll-out of effective prevention and treatment programmes in many countries," said Stefano Vella , IAS 2011 Local Co-Chair and Research Director at the Istituto Superiore di Sanit (ISS). "There needs to be more solid and courageous leadership in the efforts to reduce HIV infection amongst injecting drug users
|Contact: Lindsey Rodger|
International AIDS Society