Failure to Prevent AIDS Infections Spurs Renewed Hunt for Cure
February 10, 2009
How scientists might rid latent HIV from the body's cells is one of the topics being presented at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections this week in Montreal. Last year, the National Institutes of Health asked scientists to detail how they might approach solving the problem, particularly after Merck & Co.'s Ad5 vaccine was found ineffective.
If the amount of latent virus could be decreased, the body's immune system might be able to fight the infection without drugs. Fauci referred to that as a "functional cure," which is similar to remissions experienced by cancer patients who have been through treatment.
Myron Cohen, director of the University of North Carolina's Center for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, said the estimated cost for taking lifelong antiretroviral medications is more than $600,000. "Can we sustain this spending for 50 years?" Cohen asked. "We can't treat our way out of the epidemic. Cure of HIV is an idea whose time has come."
02.09.2009; John Lauerman
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.