Embargoed until Thursday July 19, 11.30 EST/17.30 CET
World´s leading HIV/AIDS Scientists and Stakeholders to gather in Washington D.C. to discuss Global Alliance on HIV Cure research Thursday, 19 July, 2012 (Washington D.C, US)–The Inaugural Global Scientific StrategyTowards an HIV Cure was launched today ahead of the XIX International AIDS Conference amid renewed optimism from the world´s leading HIV/AIDS scientists that the future prospects for finding an HIV cure are increasing.
Over the past two years the International AIDS Society (IAS) has convened a group of international experts to develop a roadmap for research towards an HIV cure. Published online in an abridged form tomorrow, Friday July 20, in Nature Reviews Immunology, Towards an HIV Cure identifies seven important priority areas for basic, translational and clinical research and maps out a path for future research collaboration and funding opportunities.(1)
“The strategy is the result of a collaborative effort which has produced a roadmap that will constructively move HIV Cure research forward,” said Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, the co-discoverer of HIV, Director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Unit at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and the IAS President-Elect. Barré-Sinoussi, together with Professor Steven Deeks, Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San
Francisco, is co-chair of the group of 34 leading HIV scientists and clinicians who have developed the Global Scientific Strategy. Professor Barré-Sinoussi and Professor Deeks state the case for HIV cure research in a commentary piece published today in Nature. (2)
“The science has been telling us for some time now that achieving a cure for HIV infection could be a realistic possibility. The time is right to take the opportunity to try and develop an HIV cure – we might regret never having tried,” concluded Barré-Sinoussi at the D.C. launch.
The vision for the IAS strategy for an HIV cure is very clear: a safe, affordable and scalable cure will improve the health and quality-of-life for those with established infection, reduce the risk of transmission of virus to those not infected, and ultimately allow resources to be shifted to other needs.
“Finding a cure for AIDS is a critical innovation gap,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS at the launch in D.C. “A cure will bring new hope to people living with HIV and their loved ones and could end the cycle of stigma and discrimination.”