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HIV/AIDS remains potent since discovery 25 years ago
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This, for the first time, allowed the world renowned scientific journal Nature to publish a "chronology of research on AIDS" after Montagnier and Gallo, two former rivals, agreed to put their differences aside and contribute to the effort, according to reliable sources.

So far, according to United Nations figures, there are 33 million people who are infected with the disease across the globe, while estimates put the number of people who have lost their lives to the epidemic at over 25 million, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.

However there is still hope, with the powerful antiretroviral cocktails which were developed in the mid 1990's, having transformed the diagnosis keen to change a death sentence into some form of a chronic disease. Even if to overcome the virus, one still requires repeated dose combinations.

As for the search for a vaccine and tests involving microbicides, protective vaginal gels, the scientific community has been unsuccessful so far, and the protection offered by abstinence and the use of condom is still the most recommended way to avoid falling victims, according to the health professional.

Meanwhile, riding on the back of ignorance, prejudice and too often a lack of political will, the deadly virus has continued to spread almost unabated across the four corners of the globe, a prominent researcher said recently.

The access to effective medication which is very limited in the most affected regions does not help matters. "In Africa, only 10 percent of the people who need treatment have access to it," said Olivier Schwartz, a researcher with Pasteur.

(Xinhua News Agency May 17, 2008)

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