by Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson, 64th District
The primary obstacles to ending the AIDS epidemic are no longer scientific, they are structural.
In the last 5 years, scientific breakthroughs in AIDS research have provided remarkable results. Testing methods can now detect the HIV virus months earlier than before. Preventive medication, such as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), has been clinically shown to reduce the likelihood of infection by up to 92%. Additionally, the “Berlin patient”, Timothy Brown, gave the world hope when an experimental bone marrow transplant eradicated the virus from his body.
But with all of this new research and medication, hundreds of individuals will still be infected with the disease this year. Recent data provided by the San Francisco Aids Foundation found that in California, there were 5,814 new HIV cases in 2012. While this is a tremendous decrease from the previous decades, it still remains well above the audacious goals being set by groups around the world: ending the epidemic, once and for all.