Pour une mise en commun des compétences sur le VIH

GENÈVE – Selon la formule célèbre de Benjamin Franklin, « une once de prévention vaut une livre de guérison ». Mais ce n’est pas toujours le cas dans le domaine de la recherche sur les maladies infectieuses. Bien que les scientifiques se soient traditionnellement consacrés soit à la prévention, soit au traitement, il faudra, pour relever le défi que présente le VIH/sida, que les chercheurs – et leurs bailleurs de fonds – fassent converger ces deux approches.

Les progrès aux plans de la prévention et du traitement ont réduit d’un tiers les infections annuelles au VIH au cours de la dernière décennie et réduit de 30 pour cent les décès liés au sida au cours des cinq dernières années. Pourtant, 35 millions de personnes vivent toujours avec le virus. L’an dernier, 2,1 millions de personnes ont été nouvellement infectées par le VIH et 1,5 million sont décédées de maladies liées au sida. Même dans le meilleur des cas, en optimisant les moyens de prévention et de traitement existants, un demi million, au moins, de nouvelles infections au VIH se produiront dans les pays à faible et moyens revenus d’ici 2050. 

Le monde a besoin d’un vaccin et d’un remède pour faire reculer l’épidémie et des progrès notables ont été accomplis dans les deux domaines. Mais si la recherche dans ces spécialités distinctes tend à se recouper, trop de scientifiques se voient encore comme étant strictement d’un côté ou de l’autre.

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