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Medical News & Perspectives |

20 Years After AIDS Emerges, HIV's Complexities Still Loom Large

Joan Stephenson, PhD
JAMA. 2001;285(10):1279-1281. doi:10.1001/jama.285.10.1279.
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CHICAGO—As the HIV/AIDS epidemic approaches the 20th anniversary of the first mysterious reports of people with the syndrome, researchers and clinicians continue to grapple with the complexities of the virus.

Those complexities were readily evident here at the 8th Annual Retrovirus Conference, where some 3000 participants gathered to hear reports of the latest findings.

Although at least 15 drugs have been approved to treat HIV infection and experimental therapies are in the developmental pipeline, new reports of rising resistance rates—as well as a better appreciation of potential adverse effects—underscore the urgent need for new antiretroviral agents. At the same time, discoveries about the molecular underpinnings of HIV and the genetic makeup of people infected with the virus are providing fresh insights into variations in risk for complications involving anti-HIV drugs and for disease associated with HCV coinfection.

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