There is still no cure for the virus that causes AIDS. However antiretroviral treatments that suppress the HIV virus are available. Some patients have been known to regain strong immune systems as a result of antiretroviral therapy. The therapy not only helps prolong lives but also prevents people infected by the virus from developing AIDS.
Celebrities like Rock Hudson, Freddie Mercury, and Arthur Ashe who died of the disease have given a face to it ensuring that it is known to one and all. They have also helped to educate, empower and raise public awareness. Some have funded organizations that financially help AIDS patients.
The challenge is to spread awareness of the ways in which the virus is transmitted to prevent the infection. As former US president Bill Clinton remarked: “new data from 51 countries suggests 70 percent of HIV-related deaths could have been prevented.” Numerous initiatives have been launched to lower prices of life-saving antiretroviral drugs in order to improve access to treatment. Scientists the world over are working overtime to find a cure for the disease. There are a whole host of organizations working to combat the disease, find cures and help and educate those communities that do not have the means to help themselves. Bill Clinton at the world AIDS conference in Melbourne observed, “The AIDS-free world that so many of you have worked to build is just over the horizon. We just need to step up the pace.”