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September 14, 1994

Many Clues, Few Conclusions on AIDS

JAMA. 1994;272(10):753-756. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520100017005

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HOPE WAS HARD to find at the 10th International Conference on AIDS in Yokohama, Japan.

Fascinating clues from studies of long-term nonprogressors, those infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) who go for a decade or more with no immune system damage, were reported that should shatter the myth that HIV infection is uniformly fatal. Theoretically, they should also lead to strategies for future therapies.

But conclusive clinical advances were nowhere to be found in Yokohama. Indeed, the slower pace of advancement is partly why organizers of what has been an annual event are skipping next year and will postpone the 11th International Conference on AIDS until 1996. It will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Some say the slow rate of progress is because HIV is so "smart." Others say it is also because the scientific effort directed against HIV has not been as smart as it could be.

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