VIENNA, Austria, CMC – An international AIDS conference got underway here on Monday with experts expressing confidence that a cure for the deadly virus could be developed in the near future.
Professor of Medicine at Monash University in Australia, Dr. Sharon Lewin, said there were significant advances being made in clinical studies relating to finding a cure for the virus that causes AIDS.
“A recent study from Spain that included over 69 patients that were already on antiretroviral therapy and after an intensification of an additional regiment the results were encouraging,” she told the 18th International Conference (AIDS 2010) being held with the theme “Right Here Right Now”.
“Studies of patients who can naturally control HIV have demonstrated that a functional cure may be possible with the most consistent finding among these patients being a potent immune response to HIV,” Dr. Levin added.
She said one potential approach to having a cure includes the very early initiation of antiretroviral in combination with agents that can reverse latent infection.
She told the conference that drugs such as histone deacetaylase inhibitors, currently used and licensed for the treatment of some cancers are also yielding positive results.
The co-chair of AIDS 2010, Dr. Julio Montaner, said it was important to develop a cure for the AIDS virus.
“For the first time since the development of lifesaving treatments for HIV there is evidence of game-changing scenarios demonstrating that sustained and widespread access to antiretroviral treatment can
save lives and help to reverse the epidemic.”
More than 20,000 delegates are attending the conference from more than 185 countries.
The organisers said that AIDS 2010 provides the platform for researchers and other stakeholders to exchange the views on the current situation of global HIV prevention and treatment.
The Caribbean still ranks second to sub-Saharan Africa in terms of the number of cases of HIV/AIDS and nongovernmental organisations attending the conference have welcomed the report by the experts that clinical studies are showing good results.