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World AIDS Day 2011

This post is brought to you today by Luis Montaner, D.V.M., M.Sc., D.Phil., Professor in Wistar’s Immunology Program.

The Wistar Institute is present this day and every day in the fight against HIV-1!

We celebrate the spirit of making a difference against HIV at Wistar. The Wistar Institute is engaged daily in the pursuit of an HIV vaccine, better treatment strategies, defining new targets/insights in the disease process, and in contributing towards an HIV cure. We invite you to stay current on HIV developments by checking out our lab's Facebook page.

We now face 34 million infected worldwide and an expected 3 million more to be added in the coming year—yet this past year did move us forward in HIV developments showing for the first time that treatment can be an effective tool for prevention (the basis for worldwide attention that the end of HIV is within our grasp).

However, we continue to face challenges in realizing this goal due to the following facts:

  • 1 in 5 infected persons do not know they are infected. (Get tested!)
  • 50% of HIV- infected persons in the US lack proper HIV care. (Support local treatment outreach efforts!)
  • Food insecurity acts against progress in areas and in groups with the highest need for therapy.
  • Worldwide programs responsible for the gains in reduced infections and therapy access over the last 10 years are for the first time stopping funding commitments due to the current economic climate.

We look forward to President Obama's statement later today expected to increase US funding to PEPFAR or Global Fund. We must remain vigilant if progress to date will continue forward.

You can make a difference! Educate those around you about HIV. Set an example against discrimination and stigma. And support local HIV therapy outreach efforts (such as Philadelphia FIGHT that Wistar also supports).