Resources for universal access and HIV persistance are among the timely issues featured in a special pre-conference HIV/AIDS edition (8 July) of the journal Science.
“Universal Access in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS” documents the scientific evidence and moral arguments in support of increased investments to scale up HIV prevention, treatment and care towards the goal of universal access, helping to lay the groundwork for what will be a central topic in Vienna.
The article’s authors are Françoise Girard, Nathan Ford, Dr. Julio Montaner, Dr. Pedro Cahn and Dr. Elly Katabira. Girard is Co-Chair and Ford a member of the AIDS 2010 Leadership and Accountability Programme Committee and Dr. Montaner is AIDS 2010 Chair and President of the International AIDS Society (IAS). Dr. Cahn was AIDS 2008 Chair and is IAS Immediate Past-President and Dr. Katabira is IAS President-Elect and will serve as AIDS 2012 Chair.
In their conclusion, the authors note, “A retrenchment on AIDS today would seriously jeopardize the substantial progress made to date, at the cost of untold human sacrifice and billions of dollars in economic resources. Furthermore, the increasingly recognized benefit of ART in reducing HIV transmission dramatically enhances the value of the longstanding universal access pledge. As the deadline for universal access looms, greater investment in HIV is a necessary, evidence- based, economic, and moral choice.”
“HIV Persistence and the Prospect of Long-Term Drug-Free Remissions in HIV-Infected Individuals” was produced in conjunction with the IAS Pre-Conference Workshop Towards a Cure: HIV Reservoirs and Strategies to Control Them, chaired by IAS Governing Council Member and Nobel Laureate Françoise Barré-Sinoussi of the Institut Pasteur.
In addition to Prof. Barré-Sinoussi, the authors include Didier Trono, Carine Van Lint, Christine Rouzioux, Eric Verdin, Tae-Wook Chun, and Nicolas Chomont.
The article discusses current understanding of HIV persistence and the limitations of potential approaches to eradicate the virus, and accordingly pleads for a joint multidisciplinary effort toward two highly related goals: the development of an HIV prophylactic vaccine and the achievement of long-term drug-free remissions in HIV-infected individuals.
The special Science issue also includes an editorial “AIDS Response at a Crossroads”, co-authored by Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, who serves on the AIDS 2010 Scientific Programme Committee as Co-Chair of Track E, as well as an article on the need to address gender inequities in HIV prevention.
An in-depth look at HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia includes a series of articles by Jon Cohen examining a range of topics including the rise of HIV in the region, limits on and lack of support for HIV prevention and drug treatment programmes, the relationship between law enforcement and drug treatment, HIV and homeless youth and more.
Abstracts and summaries are available for free online but access to articles requires a subscription or a pay-for-article fee.