On July 22-27th some of the best and brightest came together to discuss recent research and strategies for HIV prevention and treatment in the 2012 AIDS International Conference in Washington D.C. This event was extremely important in the fight to end HIV/AIDS.
Scientific advances like the Berlin Patient, a man who was given a stem-cell bone marrow transplant became the first and only man to be cured of HIV. The discovery of “elite controllers” individuals who for some reason can fight HIV naturally may provide useful information about HIV treatment in the future. And a group of patients in France with early detection and treatment were able to reduce the amount of the HIV virus in their bodies to almost undetectable levels.
While all of this research is exciting because of the possible medical applications, I think the bigger picture was simply having the conference. From the global village to the main exhibition hall everyone was sharing their commitment to ending AIDS. We are coming together, sharing ideas and data to reach our common goal. This kind of approach reduces the barriers to ending AIDS. The cure to AIDS isn’t going to come from a single lab or research group. It’s going to take time, effort, money and maybe some luck but most of all it’s going to take HOPE.
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