Focus On Getting More People On Antiretroviral Therapy As AIDS Turns 30

Sunday marked the 30th anniversary of the first published report of the disease that came to be known as AIDS, the Los Angeles Times reports. Though the “promise” of a vaccine “has not materialized,” “[s]ome progress has been made on other fronts,” the newspaper writes (Healy/Maugh, 6/5).

“The development of antiretroviral drugs completely turned around the AIDS epidemic in the United States. The worst of the illness is now in Africa, where roughly two-thirds of the world’s HIV cases are located,” the San Francisco Chronicle states (Allday, 6/5). An estimated 6.6 million people in the developing world are on antiretroviral therapy, and there are 33.3 million people worldwide living with HIV infection, according to the Guardian. “The roll-out of drugs across the developing world, subsidised by the donors of richer countries, is saving millions of lives” (Boseley, 6/3).

“The challenge now is to put more infected people on antiretrovirals during tough economic times,” VOA News reports. U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby, who began treating people with HIV during the beginning of the epidemic, said “[t]hese days, he sees a lot more people living with AIDS than dying from it,” according to the news service (DeCapua, 6/3).

The White House Office of National AIDS Policy and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton released statements to mark the milestone.