Ending HIV/AIDS Epidemic Achievable By Diagnosing People With HIV, Providing Them With Treatment

Washington Post: Physicians cured a man of HIV. But that’s not our best shot at fighting AIDS.
Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH

“…For the second time in history, a man had been cured of HIV. Many considered this a breakthrough. But it is important to put this case and its predecessor into perspective. This cure is an exceedingly risky procedure, and while developing it into a safe and scalable treatment is a laudable goal, we must focus on using the tools we already have to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. … The importance of the [bone marrow stem cell] transplants for the Berlin and London patients is not the potential for widespread use; it is most valuable as a road map for further research. … [A] more immediate issue is the gap in providing proven, lifesaving anti-HIV drugs to people who need them. … [I]f we could identify almost all people with HIV infection and get them on therapy, as well as provide PrEP to a high percentage of people at risk, we could end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The Berlin and London patients give important insights for HIV researchers, and a cure for HIV is an aspiration we continue to pursue. But the end of the epidemic — the reduction of new HIV infections and HIV-related deaths to very low levels — is within our reach even without a cure. It is our ethical duty to use the tools we have already to stop this disease. Because that would be a real breakthrough” (3/11).