Prominent researchers have not given up looking for a functional cure. In a recent brilliant editorial in The New York Times, Nobel laureate and President-elect of the International AIDS Society Françoise Barré-Sinoussi writes:
I believe that given our current knowledge and innovative tools and concepts, a functional cure is a more realistic goal for the near future.
Top researchers from three continents pursuing a functional cure for HIV/AIDS will present updates at this session. Presentations include ground breaking research on T-cell based vaccines, therapeutic vaccines and other immune based therapies, as well as next generation antiretrovirals studied for their ability to meet the growing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS who have become resistant to approved HAART regimens.
Presentations include updates from Aphios, Avexa, Bionor Pharma, FIT Biotech, and VIRxSYS.
Resistance to current treatments is reaching a critical mass. People living with HIV/AIDS desperately need a new generation of treatments before resistance makes the current class of anti-retroviral drugs obsolete. New treatments are needed to address the different needs of PLWHAs in developing countries, rural, and underserved communities at higher risk for drug resistance. We can save lives if an emerging, new broad range of therapeutic interventions for HIV/AIDS and co-morbidities are rapidly accelerated.
This second annual NAPWA symposium will offer updates on the largest phase 2b placebo controlled therapeutic vaccine human trial, and data indicating a functional cure - near non-detectable viral loads in the blood and reservoirs of some non-human primates who received a therapeutic vaccine.
A successful therapeutic vaccine would offer significant benefits:
· Reduced risk of drug toxicities for people living with HIV
· Preservation of immune system function and stimulation of HIV-specific immunity
· Dramatically lower costs than current HAART drugs
· Reduced or eliminated HIV in reservoirs and sanctuary regions
· Easier administration and less dependence on taking pills every day - only a few injections and boosters
· Progress towards a possible permanent "functional cure" for HIV/AIDS
Founded in 1983 as the largest and oldest advocacy group for people living with HIV/AIDS, NAPWA is the trusted independent voice for all people living with the virus in the United States. NAPWA remains a strong voice in policy, capacity building, leadership development, and social networking. NAPWA is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization based in Silver Spring, Maryland. For more information about NAPWA, please visit www.napwa.org.