From Positively Aware, by Jim Pickett (IRMA Chair)
While the rectal microbicide field has gained significant momentum, more focus and resources are necessary. In 2010, 7.2 million U.S. dollars are being spent globally on rectal microbicide research. IRMA has calculated that annual investments must increase by 40% from 2011-2014, to $10 million per year and must increase further to $44 million in the years 2015-2020 to ensure a minimum of candidate products are moving through the research pipeline into late stage testing for effectiveness.
Advocates are optimistic that the CAPRISA proof of concept will also be translated into more financial and creative energy being put into rectal microbicide development. With five new infections for every two individuals beginning treatment, it’s absolutely imperative we find new ways to prevent HIV for individuals at risk, gay and straight, women and men. As these new methods become available, it is also of paramount importance that people who are already using condoms correctly and consistently continue doing so.
We won’t treat our way out of this global epidemic. As of this writing, over 3,400 individuals in the U.S. bide their time on AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting lists in nine states. The new National AIDS Strategy focuses on three pillars to attack the domestic epidemic, one of which is access to care and treatment. Can we ensure this happens? Those waiting lists are made up of people who can’t wait.