Thirty years have passed since the discovery of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome, better known as AIDS.
It was 30 years ago, during the summer of 1981, that the American medical authorities officially recognised a mysterious pneumonia and a rare skin cancer. Two years later, Professor Luc Montagnier and researcher Françoise Barré-Sinoussi discovered the virus responsible for AIDS.
In 30 years, 25 to 30 million people across the world have died as the result of serious illnesses related to the AIDS virus. Today, more than 33 million people are infected with HIV.
Although enormous progress relating to its treatment has been made, allowing people infected with HIV to live longer and with fewer side effects, there is still no vaccine against AIDS. Two people are treated for every five new infections. Recognising transmission sources and thus avoiding them remains the most effective protection against the disease.
Though HIV infections can be avoided, its eradication still remains one of the biggest health challenges of our era.
Title: 30 years of fighting AIDS
Date of Issue: 28 September 2011
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