The U.S. seems to be fighting an uphill battle against HIV. The number of new infections was about 50,000 per year over the past decade and continues to persist, federal officials said Wednesday.
Officials said the epidemic is detrimental to gay men. Rates of new infection have also been skyrocketing in young black men.
Activists said that the government prevention policy is extremely ineffective and federal officials said that the epidemic will persist if prevention is not improved via less budget cuts.
Many researchers maintain that it is impossible to eradicate a fatal, inherently incurable disease that is transmitted through sex. Social stigma is also a barrier to frequent testing for all groups.
Epidemiologists for the CDC said that the U.S. saw 130,000 new cases per year in the 1980s. The rate slowly decreased during the 1990s and became flat at 50,000 new cases per year around 2000.
Researchers at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention said that a global scientific strategy is needed in order to cure AIDS.
"Fifteen years ago, even the most optimistic members of the scientific community were silent about the prospect of an HIV cure or vaccine," IAS 2011 International Chair and IAS President Elly Katabira said. "Today, there is a reemergence of hope that the long-term remission of an infected individual is a realistic objective. The IAS is proud to be leading the coordination of the research effort and we look forward to the unveiling of the global scientific strategy at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington next year," he added.
A Canadian HIV researcher said July 14 that pre-exposure prophylaxis, the process of preventing rather than treating a disease, can overturn the relentless AIDS epidemic. Two HIV studies in Africa revealed that antiretroviral drugs used in combination with anti-retroviral therapy treats HIV and prevents transmission. The studies also found that taking a daily pill with antiretroviral drugs can decrease transmission rates by 75% in heterosexual couples.
The battle over funding and prevention has seemingly died in the U.S.