Un encuentro de mentes sobre el VIH/SIDA

GENEVA – Según la famosa cita de Benjamín Franklin, un gramo de prevención equivale a un kilo de cura, pero eso no es siempre cierto cuando se trata de investigar enfermedades infecciosas. Si bien tradicionalmente los científicos han tendido a centrarse en la prevención o la cura, para derrotar el VIH/SIDA será necesario que los investigadores (y quienes les financian) colaboren para enfrentar el reto desde ambas direcciones.

Los avances en prevención y tratamiento han reducido en un tercio las infecciones anuales de VIH en la última década y en un 30% las muertes relacionadas con SIDA en los pasados cinco años. Sin embargo, todavía 35 millones de personas viven con el virus. El año pasado, 2,1 millones de infectaron y 1,5 millones de personas murieron por causas relacionadas con el SIDA. Incluso en el mejor escenario de aprovechamiento de los recursos de prevención y tratamiento actuales, de aquí al año 2050 se producirían al menos medio millón de nuevas infecciones de VIH al año en países de ingresos bajos y medios.

El mundo necesita tanto una vacuna como una cura para dejar atrás esta enfermedad, y se han logrado grandes avances en ambas áreas. Sin embargo, aunque la investigación en estos dos distintos campos está comenzando a superponerse, demasiados científicos siguen pensando que forman parte estrictamente de un campo o del otro.

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