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Top Ten Research Reports of 2003
Conclusion: Achievements and Limitations

By David Alain Wohl, M.D.
University of North Carolina AIDS Research and Treatment Unit

February 2004

The year that was 2003 saw many reports that in small ways moved us closer to the prize we all eye: relief from the suffering caused by HIV. I included work that I feel all clinicians need to be familiar with, but I am also aware the list neglects what may be an even greater story: the long-overdue beginning of antiretroviral use in Africa, China, India and other places where AIDS rages unopposed. Last year, many more people in resource-poor nations received HIV treatment than the year before, although this relief still only found a small fraction of those in need. This is just the first step toward making advances in HIV care available to everyone. We can hope that in 2004 we will see more people living with HIV get the treatments they, as human beings, deserve. In fact, we can demand it.

While the list offered here highlights achievements in understanding that readily translate into improved care, more often than not, it illustrates areas where answers are scarce and more work is required. How we face the challenge of answering these questions over the next year will be judged, and around this time in 2005 another top 10 will be listed. It seems we just can't help it!

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