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October 2, 1987

Is Institute of Medicine the Agency to Lead Science's Attack on AIDS?

JAMA. 1987;258(13):1699. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400130013003

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KNOWLEDGE of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) virus (human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]), its structure, and the way it replicates is now sufficient for development of drugs to prevent or inhibit HIV replication and prevent infection in high-risk groups. At the same time, a national effort is needed to bring government, academia, and industry together to accomplish this.

This was the main message from a two-day meeting held by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Washington, DC, and devoted to discussion of drugs against AIDS.

Information accumulated about HIV indicates there are a variety of targets for antiviral drugs, each of which is worthy of a large research effort, notes William Haseltine, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Center, Boston. Nevertheless, he adds, "The development of anti-HIV drugs is not going to be simply a matter of applying this knowledge. A large segment of this problem lies in the unknown."

"There are surprises in store,