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Top 10: 2001 -- 10 Most Important Developments in HIV Medicine

August 2005

    Top 10: 2001 -- 10 Most Important Developments in HIV Medicine
  1. After years of denial, Chinese AIDS experts stated that China was in the midst of what could become a serious epidemic of HIV infection. Researchers estimated that approximately 600,000 people were infected, and the number of people found to be infected was growing by 30% per year.
  2. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued approval of tenofovir (TDF), the first nucleotide analog approved for HIV-1 treatment.
  3. Thirty-nine pharmaceutical companies withdrew their case attempting to block legislation passed by the South African government that would allow generic substitution and parallel importing.
  4. AIDS activists filed suit against the South African health ministry, attempting to force the government to supply antiretroviral drugs for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. In December, the South African High Court ruled that the government must supply nevirapine (NVP) to pregnant women for PMTCT.
  5. According to a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, 30% of young gay black men in six US cities were infected with HIV. The CDC also reported that AIDS was the leading cause of death for African Americans between the ages of 25 and 44.
  6. The Indian drug company Cipla offered to sell antiretroviral drugs to Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) for less than US$1 per day, adding to the pressure on multinational pharmaceutical companies to reduce their prices for developing nations.
  7. At the African Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Other Infectious Diseases, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for annual spending of US$7 billion to US$10 billion on AIDS in developing countries, up from spending of US$1 billion. The creation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was announced; initial commitments amounted to only US$1.6 billion.
  8. The year 2001 marked the 20th anniversary of the first published report describing the disease that would eventually be named AIDS.
  9. Kofi Annan convened the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, the first such meeting entirely devoted to a public health issue.
  10. A study was presented at the Transplant 2001 conference showing that liver transplants can be successfully performed in some people with HIV. The transplants had previously been avoided due to the fear that the immunosuppressive drugs taken following an organ transplant would harm the immune systems of people with HIV.


  1. China stops denying AIDS epidemic. August 9, 2001. (Accessed August 11, 2005).
  2. US Food and Drug Administration. FDA approves VIREAD for HIV-1 infection. FDA Talk Paper. October 29, 2001. (Accessed August 11, 2005).
  3. Baleta A. Drug firms lose patent rights lawsuit against South Africa's government. Lancet. 2001;357(9265):1347.
  4. Sidley P. AIDS campaigners to take South Africa's health ministry to court. BMJ 2001;323:301; Ashraf H. S Africa must treat HIV-infected pregnant women, says high court judge. Lancet. 2001;358(9299):2139.
  5. Clark C. Paying the price of AIDS. (Accessed August 11, 2005).
  6. Kumar S. Indian company offers low cost AIDS drugs. Lancet. 2001;357(9256):616.
  7. United Nations. Secretary General proposes global fund for fight against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases at African leaders summit. Press Release. April 26, 2001. (Accessed August 11, 2005); United Nations. Title, purpose, principles and scope of the fund. October 12, 2001. (Accessed August 11, 2005); Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Planning phase for Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria concludes with agreement on basic foundations. December 17, 2001. (Accessed August 11, 2005).
  8. Kapp C. Gloomy anniversary and outlook for HIV/AIDS. Lancet. 2001;357(9271):1860.
  9. McLellan F. Annan calls for action on AIDS at UN meeting. Lancet. 2001;357(9274):2107.
  10. Highleyman L. Liver transplants successful in HIV positive people. BETA. 2001;14(2):10.

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This article was provided by International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care. It is a part of the publication IAPAC Monthly.
See Also
Coverage of the 30th Anniversary of AIDS
20 Years of Magic: How One Man's HIV Disclosure Inspired Others
More on the History of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic