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August 14, 1996

Can Researchers Use New Drugs to Push HIV Envelope to Extinction?

JAMA. 1996;276(6):435-437. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540060011004

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HIV SHARED center stage at the XI International Conference on AIDS with another potent infectious agent: optimism.

Throughout the 5-day meeting, researchers pointed to the use of combination antiretroviral therapy and viral load measurements to monitor disease progression as the gateway to a new era in managing HIV disease as a chronic illness.

"We've actually turned a page and opened a new chapter in the history of the pandemic," said Martin T. Schechter, MD, PhD, cochair of the conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and national director of the Canadian HIV Trials Network. "Many things that we once thought were impossible are now at least within the realm of the achievable."

Such enthusiasm is warranted, but it should be tempered with caution, noted Scott Hammer, MD, director of the Research Virology Laboratory at Deaconess Hospital in Boston, Mass.

"The degree of meaningful clinical benefit with the newer regimens and strategies needs