Their View: Time has come to see success in treatment, prevention
The theme of last week's 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto, “Time to Deliver,” couldn't have been more appropriate.
It has been 25 years since the disease was discovered. In the decades since, great progress has been made: treatments, education, prevention, funding and a global response to what has become a pandemic. But the scientific and medical advances have not produced a vaccine or a cure, and they have not helped millions of people in the developing world who continue to become infected, suffer and die needlessly.
So it is time to deliver hope - in the form of life-prolonging treatments, such as the drug “cocktails” now contained in one easy-to-take pill, to all those who need them. It is time to deliver more of the drugs that will stop tuberculosis, the most aggressive killer of people with AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and other hard-hit areas.
It is time to see the tide start to turn, to see the numbers of HIV-infected - now an estimated 40 million people worldwide - begin to decline, instead of continuing to increase.
It is also time for the world's wealthier nations to provide more of the funding needed to battle the disease.
This week's conference will draw more than 20,000 participants from all over the world to confront a disease that has become much more familiar but no less frightening. They will urge the world community to act with compassion and generosity, so that the next 25 years in the history of AIDS will see far more progress than the first.
- The Record (Bergen County, N.J.)