Scientists Lay Out Map to Curing AIDS

    JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JULY 9: Deny, a 33-year-old AIDS victim, lies in the Rumah Sakit Cipto Mangunkusumo hospital ward while another AIDS patient, Jamal, is spoon fed on July 9, 2004 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Deny and Jamal contracted the disease from intravenous drug use which, along with the sex industry, is rampant. A recent report issued by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS states that six provinces are now being classified as badly affected with a serious increase in 2003 among drug users and sex workers. The 15th International AIDS conference will be held in Bangkok beginning next week. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

    Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

    International AIDS specialists signaled hope that a cure for HIV may be within grasp, decades after the search began. Researchers announced Thursday that they’ve laid out a strategy to investigate a number of leads they think might lead to a cure. “Today’s the first step,” said Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, the French Nobel laureate who was codiscoverer of the virus and co-chair of the research initiative. Sunday marks the start of the international AIDS conference, which will draw more than 20,000 scientists, activists, and lawmakers to Washington, D.C., to discuss how to stop the spread of the virus, which affects more than 34 million people worldwide. While making better drugs available to more people will do much for containing HIV, Barré-Sinoussi said that isn’t enough and thinks finding a cure “could be a realistic possibility.”

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