USA – FDA’s Comprehensive Response to HIV — Part I

A multidisciplinary approach helps spur the development of effective treatments and approval of an expanding number of HIV drugs and drug combinations.

Our nation has been engaged in a battle against the HIV/AIDS epidemic since the early 1980’s. Over the past 37 years, we have learned a great deal about the virus, made important progress in the development of treatments and diagnostic tests, and remain resolute in our efforts to eradicate this disease.

For those engaged in the field of public health, the AIDS crisis is a particularly instructive example of some of the ways such crises and responses to them evolve, particularly because this response coincides with our own medical training, development, and professional experience. In 1990, I took time off from medical school to work in an HIV lab at the National Institutes of Health, studying what was then called “AIDS dementia.” My subsequent medical residency and fellowship occurred at the height of the AIDS epidemic, prior to the advent of many of our most important therapies for HIV infection, and I cared for many desperate patients dying from the disease.

We have made incredible progress since then. Thanks to the power of groundbreaking medical research and the dedication of scientists, doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, researchers, government regulators, and, most importantly, people living with HIV and their advocates, we have shifted the prognosis for HIV from a death sentence to a chronic and manageable illness. We’re working to build on this success, through efforts like the president’s plan for Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America, which seeks to provide the hardest hit communities with the additional expertise, technology, and resources required to address the HIV epidemic in their communities. Moreover, we’ve been working collaboratively across government through efforts like the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, which includes regional “Ending the HIV Epidemic” initiatives