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ACP Offers Screening Guidelines and Useful Links to HIV and
AIDS Information at www.acponline.org/pressroom/acp_hiv_resources.htm.
Philadelphia, May 31, 2011 - In an article
published today in Annals of Internal Medicine, the flagship
journal of the American College of Physicians (ACP), Dr. Anthony
Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases (NIAID), and Dr. Carl W. Dieffenbach Director of NIAID's
Division of AIDS, outline the critical elements needed to control -
and ultimately end - the HIV and AIDS pandemic. ACP created a page
with links to this article and other HIV and AIDS resources and
information at www.acponline.org/pressroom/acp_hiv_resources.htm.
Since it was first discovered 30 years ago, HIV has claimed more
than 30 million lives. Today, more than 33 million people worldwide
are living with HIV and AIDS. While medical advances have slowed
the spread of the disease and lengthened life expectancies to
almost normal, the authors of the article say there are still
significant challenges ahead for researchers and health care
According to Drs, Fauci and Dieffenbach, future AIDS initiatives
should concentrate on three essential research and implementation
goals. First, research should focus on the implementation of proven
HIV treatment tools such as antiretroviral therapy (ART). While
very successful at prolonging health and longevity in HIV patients,
ART must be currently be administered daily for life. This presents
a management challenge for the health care system, as well as
access and adherence issues for patients, especially those who are
poor or live in developing countries.
Second, researchers should continue to focus efforts on finding
a cure for AIDS that would free patients from having to undergo
lifelong treatment with ART. The authors think future research
should focus on both the development of approaches that would
totally eradicate the virus as well as those that would result in a
"functional cure" that permanently suppresses the virus without
replication or lifelong ART.
Third, researchers must find a way to develop new, potent
biomedical prevention therapies that can work with available
prevention strategies. Drugs and drug delivery approaches that stop
the spread of the virus, as well as a vaccine, need to be
"By pursuing an aggressive scientific research agenda to develop
the necessary interventions, we can achieve our shared, long-term
goal of ultimately ending the HIV and AIDS epidemic," wrote Drs.
Fauci and Deiffenbauch.
Note: In May, 2011 NIAID announced results of a clinical
trial HPTN 052, which showed early treatment with ART prevented 96%
of HIV transmission in a discordant couple setting. This Annals
article stresses the importance of HIV treatment, and the
extraordinary effect of antiviral therapy on HIV transmission seen
in the NIAID-sponsored HPTN 052 study underscores the importance of