Commentary & Opinion
"Long Way to Go" in Fighting HIV/AIDS, Nobel Laureate Says in Opinion Piece
October 21, 2008
Despite the progress made in the fight against HIV since it was discovered in 1983, there is "still a long way to go," Luc Montagnier, who recently shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in medicine for his work in the discovery of HIV, writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece. HIV/AIDS is "spreading in many countries," and even "developed countries like the U.S. have many new infections," he writes, adding, "There is also the danger of a new epidemic caused by viral strains resistant to treatment. Moreover, despite the effort of thousands of researchers, we still have no cure and no vaccine."
According to Montagnier, more than 10 years ago he "proposed using vaccination against HIV antigens not for prophylaxis but as an additional therapy following a short antiviral treatment." The goal in this circumstance is to make HIV-positive people's immune systems "fully competent, after only partial restoration by an antiretroviral treatment reducing the viral load in the blood to undetectable levels," he writes.
According to Montagnier, in "developing countries, many infected patients refuse to be tested and are not treated because of the stigma attached to AIDS." He writes that the "availability of treatment able to eradicate the infection will change their attitudes," concluding that the "epidemic will thus gradually decrease, perhaps helped by a preventive vaccine derived from a successful therapeutic vaccine" (Montagnier, Wall Street Journal, 10/21).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.