Quest for new treatment options for AIDS must continue, says ISCR

Quest for new treatment options for AIDS must continue, says ISCR
Highlights

While there are several preventive measures in place to halt the AIDS epidemic, investments in the treatment and management of HIV have played a big role in managing its impact.

While there are several preventive measures in place to halt the AIDS epidemic, investments in the treatment and management of HIV have played a big role in managing its impact.

“World AIDS Day is an important occasion for us to reflect on how clinical research has contributed to better and newer treatment for HIV patients,” said Suneela Thatte, President, Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR).

“It is only through clinical research that more advanced treatment can be made possible and we must acknowledge the role of the HIV patients, who through their participation in clinical trials have made new medicines possible,” she added.

The UN estimates that already 15.8 million people are accessing life-saving HIV treatment; new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 per cent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths have been reduced by 42 per cent since its peak in 2004.

“While there still needs to be a lot done to reduce the incidence of AIDS, we have seen tremendous progress in the treatment and management of HIV from when it was first labelled as an epidemic. Today, HIV patients are able to lead not just qualitatively better lives, but also live longer thanks to medical advancements. Anti retroviral therapy has changed HIV from life threatening disease to a chronically manageable condition,” says Dr Shashank R Joshi, Immediate Past President, Association of Physicians of India (API).

“India’s participation in clinical research for AIDS treatment and management is equally important given the high incidence of AIDS in India and we need to continue to invest in this area,” added Suneela.

India’s HIV epidemic is slowing down, with a 19 per cent decline in new HIV infections and a 38 per cent decline in AIDS-related deaths between 2005 and 2013. Despite, this 51 per cent of deaths in Asia are in India.

“Getting to Zero” was the theme selected in 2011 through to the end of 2015 by the World AIDS Campaign (WAC) to commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1. The theme echoes the UNAIDS vision of achieving “Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths”.

Our Bureau
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