AIDS Research and Treatment

AIDS and HIV Infection after Thirty Years

Publishing date
01 Jun 2012
Submission deadline
02 Dec 2011

1National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani, Via Portuense 292, 00149 Rome, Italy

2AIDS Research Institute, University of California at San Francisco, CA, USA

3Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

4Department of Internal Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, United Nations Road, Dar es Salam, Tanzania

5University of Rome “La Sapienza” Medical School; I.N.M.I. “L. Spallanzani” I.R.C.C.S., Rome, Italy

AIDS and HIV Infection after Thirty Years


AIDS, caused by HIV, first appeared in Western countries in 1981 as a disease leading to a high death rate approaching 100% after 5–10 years of the diagnosis. After 3 decades, following many innovative approaches, AIDS has become in many industrialized countries a chronic disease with a survival for many years following infection. Moreover, there are indications that most of the casualties are due to tumors or organ failures, only indirectly linked to HIV infection. Several of these conditions result from the antiretroviral therapy (ART) or ongoing virus replication. Certain factors, still to be fully understood, appear responsible for the prognostic improvement. Among the first are undoubtedly the availability of laboratory and therapeutic tools that permit an early diagnosis and an effective treatment. Further improvements in treating HIV infection, such as directions at a cure, would be made possible only by unmasking the virus from sanctuaries that are presently out of reach by both drugs. Another important step is making the therapies more available to resource-limited countries, where they are not widely distributed. In addition, probably the most notable, and at the same time most intriguing, would be the possible evolution of HIV toward attenuation, leading to a more benign course of the disease. This event would in fact be beneficial to both the virus, which could have a longer period of transmission, and the host, with an extended survival, and today it is hypothetical and merits attention. For this special edition, potential topics on HIV/AIDS include, but are not limited to:

  • HIV infection in 2011. Where are we going?
  • HIV clades; toward globalization?
  • Viral persistence: latency, compartmentalization, or both
  • Novel therapeutical strategies toward eradication
  • Is epidemiology changing?
  • Progresses in innate immunity
  • Progresses in adaptive immunity
  • Is an effective vaccine feasible?
  • Can the costs be reduced?
  • 1990-2010: final causes of death in HIV patients

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