July 1, 1998

HIV/AIDS in 1998—Gaining the Upper Hand?

Author Affiliations

From the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

JAMA. 1998;280(1):87-88. doi:10.1001/jama.280.1.87

The global community that is dedicated to understanding, treating, and preventing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is gathering in Geneva, Switzerland, from June 28 through July 3, 1998, for the 12th International Conference on AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Whereas steady incremental advances characterized the field of HIV research throughout the first 10 international conferences on AIDS, the 11th conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, focused on quantum leaps within the areas of therapeutics (ie, introduction of protease inhibitors for use in combination antiretroviral regimens) and pathogenesis (ie, identification of chemokine receptors as HIV coreceptors). Early optimism regarding the possibility of eradication of HIV has yielded to the more realistic concept of long-term control of virus replication. In addition, the many obstacles to effective therapy for persons with HIV infection highlight the theme of 2 years ago, "much accomplished, much to do."1