AIDS has been one of the most devastating infections in the history of man. Since its recognition in the early 1980s, at least 60 million people have been infected with HIV, the causal virus, and up to 20 million have died. AIDS has also represented some of the triumphs of modern medical science, with the rapid discovery of the causative virus, the developments of tests to diagnose and track the disease and the development of very effective drugs to treat the infection. Indeed, in resource-rich countries, the diagnosis of HIV no longer represents a death sentence and with modern antiviral therapy, patients can expect a relatively normal life.
However, it is not a time for complacency. New infections continue to occur and a cure is not in sight. Nowhere is the devastation more apparent than in sub-Saharan Africa where the disease continues to spread dramatically. For resource-poor countries in Africa and Asia, HIV-AIDS represents the major threat to society and can only be tackled by an intensive and focused campaign that is financed by those nations able and willing to afford aid.
"HIV in the New Millennium" will take place on Friday 17 June 2005 in O'Reilly Hall, University College Dublin. This conference will review the past, present and future of HIV-AIDS with a particular emphasis on the challenges of tackling the disease in resource-poor settings.
Robert Gallo, Baltimore
Paul A. Volberding, San Francisco
Kevin M. DeCock, Atlanta - Kenya
Charles van der Horst, North Carolina - Malawi
David Apuuli - Uganda