World AIDS Day 2013 is an opportunity for people across the world to come together to combat HIV and AIDS.
There are over 35 million people around the world infected with HIV and, in 2012 alone, 1.6 million people died of AIDS. This makes AIDS one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
What is being done now?
HIV targets the human immune system making those with the virus more vulnerable to infectious diseases. There is no cure for HIV, but the virus can be suppressed by combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) using three or more antiretroviral drugs at the same time. This regimen controls viral replication and gives the immune system time to recuperate. ART enables people to live longer, healthier lives.
And the future?
The search is on to find a cure for HIV and AIDS, and whether it comes through drugs or vaccines, research is the key to finding it.
Today, BioMed Central has published a special series marking World AIDS Day 2013, highlighting the latest research and opinion from our journals.
Articles from AIDS Research & Therapy and BMC Infectious Diseases look at the effectiveness of current antiretroviral therapy and people’s attitudes to them. Two research articles from Virology Journal look at the potential of monoclonal antibody therapy and synthetic immunotherapies to combat HIV.
Understanding the virus is fundamental to discovering where we can target it with therapeutics or a vaccine without harming the patient. Retrovirology has pioneered the publication of basic biology research that looks at HIV transmission, replication, latency and how the virus interacts with host cells in order to identify targets for therapy.
Finally, in an Editorial published especially for World AIDS Day, the Editors-in-Chief of Retrovirology call on all of us to work together to conquer the disease, and they look forward to a World AIDS Day when we can reflect on our combined success in stopping the pandemic.