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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: http://www.humanite.fr/monde/sida-l...

by S.G.

Françoise Barre-Sinoussi’s Outlook on the Future of the AIDS Fight

Translated Tuesday 31 July 2012, by Elisha Sum and reviewed by Bill Scoble

The new president of the International AIDS Society painted a hopeful picture of the fight against AIDS at the close of the 19th International Conference on AIDS that the NGO organized in Washington. The 2008 Nobel Laureate in Medicine for the co-discovery of HIV lists obstacles which remain on the road to victory.

As did Bill Gates and Bill Clinton before her, Françoise Barre-Sinoussi emphasized the issue of funding in a context of economic and financial crisis. "But money is not the only challenge standing in the way of an end to the AIDS epidemic."

Health Systems

"We must address the problem of the divide between scientific discoveries and its application in a context of limited resources,” Françoise Barre-Sinoussi stressed during her speech on Friday. “We need to develop health systems, train medical staff, and reach all the patients in developing countries,” continued the virologist. “As a Nobel Laureate, it is my duty to fully commit myself to defend the values we all share here, namely equal access to prevention, treatment, and care."

Discrimination and intellectual property

Also a professor at the Pasteur Institute, she has argued strongly for "the end of all stigmatization, discrimination, violence and repressive policies" against homosexuals, drug addicts, and prostitutes. Warmly applauded, Professor Barré-Sinoussi also deemed “unacceptable” the fact that intellectual property laws, which protect pharmaceutical companies’ patents, interfere with patient care.

"We have seen progress in the implementation of scientific tools at our disposal," she added, referring to the more than eight million infected people in poor countries and middle-income countries in 2011 who now have access to antiretroviral therapy. However, "we need to continue to mobilize the largest possible number of people over the next two years: new talent, scientists, activists and political and government leaders," warned Françoise Barre-Sinoussi.

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