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Editorial
Jan 14, 2013

Controlling HIV/AIDS: The Obstacles and Opportunities Ahead

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(1):11-12. doi:10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.874

At the 19th International AIDS Conference, held in Washington, DC, in July 2012 (AIDS 2012), there were sobering reminders that controlling the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and caring for infected individuals are much easier said than done. There was also considerable optimism about eventually ending the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.1

Even without a vaccine, the primary reasons for optimism are the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy in treating and preventing HIV infection and the increased availability of resources for programs in low- and middle-income nations. Deaths from AIDS-related causes peaked in the United States in 1995, and globally in 2005. At present, there are more people living with HIV than ever before, but many fewer new infections each year than earlier in the epidemic. Of the estimated 34.2 million people living with HIV worldwide in 2011, about 8 million had access to antiretroviral therapy, 20% more than in 2010.

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