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International AIDS Society urges world leaders at UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS to integrate a fourth pillar -- HIV cure research -- into the global response to the epidemic
Date:6/7/2011

07 June 2011. Geneva, Switzerland. As world leaders meet this week to review progress and chart the future course of the global AIDS response at the 2011 UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AIDS (UNGASS 2011) in New York, the International AIDS Society (IAS) calls on leaders to ensure the inclusion of HIV cure research and its global strategy into the international HIV agenda and in all discussions, political decisions and funding strategies.

In this historic month which marks both 30 years since the first reported AIDS cases and 10 years since the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was adopted the International AIDS Society is calling on all stakeholders in the global response to AIDS to adopt a new four pillar approach to combating the epidemic, by adding the fourth pillar, "cure", to the current three pillar approach of "prevention, treatment and care."

Globally, there are currently 33.3 million people living with HIV and, while much scientific progress has been made over the past three decades -- the greatest being the antiretroviral treatment (ART) which has ensured that millions of people living with HIV/AIDS can lead healthy lives-- there is still no cure for HIV.

Although significant progress has also been made towards scaling up access to antiretroviral treatment, the increase in new infections in certain regions, a decrease in funding, and the fact that under new WHO guidelines HIV patients should be starting their treatment regimens much earlier, means that universal access targets are way off track. As new infections continue to outstrip numbers on treatment by 2 to 1 in resource-limited settings, the scale of unmet need can only increase.

Funding research to develop a functional1 or sterilizing2 cure for HIV which could offer people living with the virus an alternative to the burden of a difficult life-long antiretroviral regimen is therefore in our collective economic interest. Furthermo
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Contact: Lindsey Rodger
lindsey.rodger@iasociety.org
41-227-100-822
International AIDS Society
Source:Eurekalert

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