NEWS ON THE FIGHT FOR BETTER TREATMENT, A VACCINE, AND A CURE FOR AIDS
Exploring the American Response to the Global AIDS Pandemic
July 2000 - This report is a first, imperfect documentation of what the U.S. government spent in 1998 on international HIV programs. We hope this analysis can serve as a foundation, a basis for decision- making, a hopeful call to action. Inside, we describe what the U.S. government has done, so others may better answer what can and should be done. We hope others in the developed, democratic world take this report as a model to press for more and better responses from their governments. We hope people in poorer countries use this report to navigate the U.S. government and become full partners with the American effort.
A Critical Review of the Research and Treatment of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Hepatitis & HIV Coinfection
July 2000 - My appreciation of and desire to study hepatitis C virus research is something new. It started off as mere curiosity during my research of AIDS-related opportunistic infections (OIs) when I thought about adding a short chapter on hepatitis C to TAG's OI Report because it was well-known that many individuals with HIV are also coinfected with hepatitis C. Two years later, it seems laughable that one could write a short chapter on hepatitis C. It has become apparent to me that there is a need for a thorough study, review, and critical analysis of hepatitis C research and treatment.
NIH-Funded AIDS Vaccine Research: A Critical Review
March 2000 - The first two decades of AIDS vaccine research have been a series of disappointments and setbacks. Indeed, while at the epidemic's outset many predicted that it would be easier to develop a vaccine for HIV than effective treatments, the reverse has been the case. Initial approaches to HIV vaccine development foundered due to the unexpected complexity of HIV-1 as an immunogen and, in part, due to somewhat simplistic research approaches. Now, however, with new insights into HIV pathogenesis, new research tools, new resources, and new commitment from the U.S. government, from research administrators at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and from the non-governmental and multilateral sectors, AIDS vaccine research is finally getting the attention, resources, and emphasis it deserves. Our goal in this report is to outline the scientific and practical obstacles in the path of developing a safe, effective, globally deployable AIDS vaccine, to examine the AIDS vaccine research programs funded by NIH -- taking 1998 (the last year for which complete data are available) as a single, comprehensive snapshot -- and to recommend methods of overcoming those obstacles to accelerate the discovery, development, and deployment of an effective vaccine. We believe that a vaccine is most likely to emerge from a creative and rigorous synthesis of basic research in human and non-human primate immunology and in HIV virology, with animal and clinical studies of vaccine candidates, delivery routes, adjuvants, and the like. We hope that by examining the scientific issues faced in basic, animal, and clinical HIV vaccine research, we can contribute to overcoming the obstacles and thus contribute to a revitalized, accelerated, intensified effort.
Structured Treatment Interruptions (STIs) from the Seventh Retrovirus Conference, 2000
February 2000 - At least 18 studies and speeches presented at the Seventh Retrovirus Conference included discussions related to treatment interruptions (TIs) and structured treatment interruptions (STIs) in various HIV infected populations -- including primary HIV infection (three papers), chronic and virally suppressed (13 papers), and chronic and unsuppressed (two papers). Indeed, the conference ended with three late-breaker presentations focusing on STIs.
Statement on the Vaccines for the New Millennium Act of 2000
Everyone wants an AIDS vaccine. With the staggering numbers of HIV infections around the globe and the prohibitive cost and limited effectiveness of current antiretroviral therapy, the only way to stem the tide of the epidemic will be to develop a safe and effective vaccine to protect the uninfected from HIV transmission. As advocates for people with HIV infection and with many of us at the Treatment Action Group (TAG) living with the disease ourselves, we are acutely aware of the devastation that AIDS can bring to individuals and their families.