An AIDS-free generation: It seems an audacious goal, considering how the HIV epidemic still is raging around the world.
more than 20,000 international HIV researchers and activists will
gather in the nation's capital later this month with a sense of optimism
not seen in many years - hope that it finally may be possible to
dramatically stem the spread of the AIDS virus.
"We want to make
sure we don't overpromise," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institutes
of Health's infectious disease chief, told The Associated Press. But, he
said, "I think we are at a turning point."
The big new focus is
on trying to get more people with HIV treated early, when they're first
infected, instead of waiting until they're weakened or sick, as the
world largely has done until now. Staying healthier also makes them less
likely to infect others.
That's a tall order. But studies over
the past two years have shown what Fauci calls "striking, sometimes
breathtaking results," in preventing people at high risk of HIV from
getting it in some of the hardest-hit countries, using this
treatment-as-prevention and some other protections.