Researchers on Thursday announced a “roadmap” for curing HIV/AIDS. The group of international specialist in an attempt to rejuvenate efforts geared towards curing HIV have listed various “leads” that they believe could bring them to a cure for the deadly disease.
The announcement which includes the support of Nobel laureates and other leading scientists in the field of HIV and AIDS research arrived just days before the International AIDS conference is set to kick off with more than 20,000 participating scientists, policymakers and activists.
The AIDS conference goal is to discuss how to stop the spread of AIDS but researchers hope they can just end the disease once and for all, stopping the spread of the disease which already inflicts 34 million people around the world.
While many organizations have begun to focus on eradication through prevention scientists worry that reaching many patients and educating them in poor countries could be extremely difficult, maybe even impossible.
The panel which revealed the roadmap for a cure has not estimated how much it will cost, in 2011 $56 million was spent on cure-related research for AIDS and HIV.
Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS told Newser:
“The previous generation fought for treatment. Our generation must fight for a cure.”
The fight may seem impossible but one person was cured to date, Timothy Ray Brown of San Francisco was living in Berlin in 2006 when he underwent a blood stem cell transplant to fight off leukemia, a treatment that destroyed his immune system but provided him with a cure. A German transplant surgeon had found a donor who happened to be among the 1 percent of whites with a gene mutation that naturally fights off HIV. While the transplant was expensive and dangerous to perform it is the type of work that scientists will look towards as they investigate their roadmap leads.
Do you think scientists will find a cure for HIV and AIDS in our lifetime?