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FOR THE FIRST time in recent years, the mood among many AIDS researchers is uncharacteristically upbeat.
Promising results from studies of a new class of antiviral drugs, presented at the Third Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Washington, DC, a few weeks ago, have infused optimism into a field more accustomed to frustration and disappointment.
"There's a lot of excitement and a real sense of optimism that we're making progress," said Douglas D. Richman, MD, an AIDS researcher from the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and vice chair for the meeting's scientific program committee.
Researchers at the meeting also said that a better understanding of the immunopathology of HIV is creating a new sense of direction regarding treatment strategies.
"Just last year, a keynote speaker for this meeting summed up the state of the field as 'confusion reigns,'" said Alvan E. Fisher, MD, clinical associate professor
Stephenson J. New Anti-HIV Drugs and Treatment Strategies Buoy AIDS Researchers. JAMA. 1996;275(8):579-580. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530320007003