Alert
Close

Multiemployer pension cuts and what you need to know about pension provisions in 2015. Learn more

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

AARP VETERAN MEMBERSHIP

Military and Veterans Discount

CONTESTS AND SWEEPS

AARP REALPAD

Introducing RealPad by AARP

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

5 Breakthrough AIDS Treatments

Scientists make strides on therapy and prevention — and continue to hunt for a cure

 

The virus that causes AIDS mutates endlessly, and the federal government invests $3 billion each year in research designed to get ahead of those mutations — and maybe even head off the virus entirely.

See also: AIDS: 30 years later.

Right now, researchers are doing the following:

1. Developing vaccines

A preventive inoculation was tested in Thailand in 2009; those who received it were 31 percent less likely to contract HIV than a placebo group was. The study, financed mainly by the National Institutes of Health, gives researchers hope that a stronger vaccine could be developed in the next few years. "It gives us something to build from," says Carl Dieffenbach, Ph.D., director of the Division of AIDS at NIH.

The government supports early-stage research into so-called therapeutic vaccines — ones that would prevent people with HIV from developing full-blown AIDS.

2. Using HIV drugs as preventatives

HIV-negative, sexually active gay men who took a daily dose of the HIV drug cocktail Truvada (Tenofovir and emtricitabine) reduced their odds of contracting HIV by 44 percent, in clinical trials performed in six countries last year. But Truvada is licensed as only a treatment, not a prophylaxis. That means many insurance plans might not pay for HIV-negative people to buy it.

3. Making gels that kill the virus

A recent study of 900 women in South Africa showed that a vaginal gel made from the active drugs in Truvada reduced the odds of acquiring HIV by 39 percent, a boon to women whose partners refuse to wear condoms. Research continues into microbicides that are inexpensive enough to be used regularly by women in the developing world.

4. Encouraging male circumcision

Studies have shown that men in Africa who have had their foreskin removed are 60 percent less likely to get HIV, perhaps due to the thinness of the foreskin's protective keratin layer and the presence of vulnerable immune cells there. Public health scientists are trying to find ways to reach more men and encourage them to undergo the procedure.

5. Improving successful treatments

The most promising of the newest class of anti-HIV drugs, raltegravir (trade name: Isentress), attacks the disease by zapping a viral enzyme, which interrupts the virus's life cycle. Used in tandem with other drugs, raltegravir has proven effective at keeping the "viral load" — the amount of HIV in the bloodstream — to a minimum. Other drugs that are like it, part of a class called integrase inhibitors, are in the pipeline.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

AARP membership discount Man trying on eyeglasses at optometrists smiling

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at LensCrafters.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

member benefits adt companion

Members save on new installation of a ADT Companion Service® personal emergency response system.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points