Vingt-cinq années de VIH/SIDA

Il y a maintenant un quart de siècle que le syndrome d’immunodéficience acquise (SIDA) a été identifié. Les connaissances obtenues à ce jour sont stupéfiantes, et le rythme auquel la recherche fondamentale débouche sur des traitements capables de sauver des vies est sans précédent.

On a découvert le virus HIV, responsable du SIDA, puis expliqué sa pathogenèse, son histoire naturelle et son épidémiologie, on a développé un test de dépistage sanguin et mis au point des médicaments antirétroviraux. En 1996, l’approbation du premier des antiprotéases a permis l’adoption d’une combinaison de médicaments connue sous le nom de traitement antirétroviral hautement actif ou HAART, qui a profondément transformé la qualité de vie des séropositifs et allongé leur espérance de vie.

Les médicaments antirétroviraux administrés aux femmes enceintes séropositives et aux nouveaux-nés ont donné d’excellents résultats pour la prévention de la transmission mère-enfant du VIH. Depuis l’introduction de ces traitements, au moins trois millions d’années de vie ont été sauvées rien qu’aux Etats-Unis. Nous disposons maintenant de plus d’une vingtaine de médicaments et de traitements approuvés, et bon nombre de médicaments de la prochaine génération sont en cours de conception et d’essais cliniques.

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