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Cure for HIV a realistic possibility

Burnet Institute

20 July, 2012

Towards an HIV Cure Press Conference?? Sharon Lewin and Francoise Barré-Sinoussi??? ©IAS/Steve Shapiro-Commercialimage.net

A cure for HIV is a realistic possibility is the key message to come out of the Global Scientific Strategy Towards a Cure, launched at the AIDS 2012 conference in Washington.

Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, the co-discoverer of HIV and President-Elect of the International AIDS Society and Professor Steven Deeks, Professor of Medicine at the University of California developed the strategy with 34 world-leading HIV scientists and clinicians.

Among that elite group were two Australians, both from the Burnet Institute, Co-Head of the Centre for Virology Professor Sharon Lewin and molecular virologist, Associate Professor Melissa Churchill.

“It was an incredible group to be part of and to now have a clear, global strategy for research towards HIV cure is a fantastic achievement,” Professor Lewin said.

The vision for the strategy is to strive for a safe, affordable and scalable cure to improve the health and quality-of-life for those with established infection, reduce the transmission of virus to those not infected and ultimately allow resources to be shifted to other needs.

It identifies seven important priority areas for basic, translational and clinical research and maps out a path for future research collaboration and funding opportunities.

“The science has been telling us for some time now that achieving a cure for HIV infection could be a realistic possibility,” Professor Barré-Sinoussi.

“The time is right to take the opportunity to try and develop an HIV cure – we might regret never having tried.”

The strategy, which has taken two years to develop has been published in Nature Reviews Immunology.

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