Washington, D.C., July 7, 2010 - Noted AIDS researcher Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters at VOA headquarters in Washington that the upcoming AIDS conference in Vienna, Austria will try to tackle the problem of making treatment drugs universally accessible to those infected. <!-- IMAGE -->
Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health, says delegates to the conference will also examine potential new methods of AIDS prevention such as vaccines and microbicides.
Fauci says so-called "early events" that occur within the first few hours of infection have a large impact on the course of the disease, and he emphasized the need for treatments that target the disease in its most vulnerable stage.
Special attention is being given to this year's International AIDS Conference as a deadline approaches for the goal of universal access to HIV prevention and treatment.
Fauci said that the underlying theme of this year's conference is the necessity of viewing the AIDS issue as an issue of human rights. Fauci said that of the 33 million people infected with AIDS, 90 percent live in the developing world, and 60 percent live in Sub-Saharan Africa. He also stated that early and adequate treatment of those infected has led to a lifespan that is “almost normal” in many cases, but he added that only 30-40 percent of those infected have access to treatment drugs.
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VOA is planning extensive coverage of the July 18-23 AIDS conference and has developed a number of media campaigns focusing on the AIDS issue, particularly in Africa.
Dr. Fauci’s briefing was broadcast live on the VOA website. The on demand links for the briefing can be found at: http://author.voanews.com/english/About/2010-06-25-AIDS-briefing.cfm. For continuing VOA coverage of the AIDS issue and other news visit our website at: www.voanews.com.
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