The National Institutes of Health recently marked the 30th annual World AIDS Day, noting historical treatment breakthroughs.
“After 30 years of marking progress against HIV, we are closer than ever to the beginning of the end of the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” the statement from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and Office of AIDS Research Director Maureen Goodenow said.
“While AIDS had been part of our lives since 1981, the tools to fight the disease during that period were still inadequate, despite robust research efforts,” the statement said.
The first licensed anti-retroviral medication was AZT in 1987, but the treatment had limited benefits, an NIH statement said. Over the years, more powerful regimens have been developed, and today a person with HIV can live a nearly as long as someone without the virus.
“Today, therapies can allow a person living with HIV to achieve a nearly normal lifespan, and some regimens require only one pill once a day,” the statement said.
Additionally, studies show that pregnant women with HIV can carry their babies without passing on the virus since modern anti-retrovirals can treat infection and prevent perinatal transmission.
NIAID enables nationwide and global research for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious and immunological diseases, according to the statement.