IAS Releases 'Road Map' To Find HIV Cure Ahead Of AIDS 2012 Conference

The International AIDS Society (IAS) on Thursday in Washington, D.C., “released what they call a road map for research toward a cure for HIV — a strategy for global teams of scientists to explore a number of intriguing leads that just might, years from now, pan out,” the Associated Press reports (Neergaard, 7/20). “The … scientific strategy focuses efforts on key areas such as the reservoirs where human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) holes up in the body, and the small number of people worldwide who seem to have some natural resistance,” Agence France-Presse writes (Sheridan, 7/19). “The new strategy outlines seven main priorities for research straddling basic, translational, and clinical science if either a ‘sterilizing cure,’ which permanently removes the virus, or a ‘functional cure,’ which controls it for years without drugs, is to be found,” the Lancet notes (Corbyn, 7/20).

“Possible cures could involve improving treatments to prevent the virus from making copies of itself, gene therapy, and treatment vaccines to boost the immune system, the strategy statement says,” USA Today writes (Szabo, 7/19). Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, a Nobel prize laureate who co-discovered HIV, “is one of the prime movers in the campaign for a cure,” the Guardian adds (Boseley, 7/19). “Sinoussi said the next step will be determining the cost-effectiveness of the strategy,” Reuters writes, adding, “That work will begin in conjunction with the International AIDS Society’s 2012 conference, which runs from July 22-27 in Washington” (Steenhuysen, 7/19).