Posted on November 30, 2018
"Each year on World AIDS Day, we reflect on the remarkable progress that has been made against HIV. Indeed, we have come a long way since the disease now known as AIDS was first reported in 1981.
We now have life-saving antiretroviral drugs to treat and greatly extend the lives of men and women living with HIV. Daily antiretroviral therapy that suppresses HIV to undetectable levels benefits people living with HIV and prevents sexual transmission of the virus to others. We also have a range of options available for people to prevent acquisition of HIV. These options include pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, a single pill that can reduce the risk of acquiring HIV by more than 95 percent when taken daily. Emergency post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, also can prevent HIV infection if it is begun within three days of exposure and taken for an additional 28 days.
If these methods of treatment and prevention could be widely implemented, an end to the HIV pandemic would be feasible. However, lack of access to health care, high costs, and stigma create barriers to successfully preventing HIV and managing it across the lifespan. To bring about a durable end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, we must develop longer lasting, more easily implementable tools, including a vaccine that can treat and prevent HIV at a lower cost. "