Mitchell Reports | July 27, 2012
>>> the international aids conference is now completing its meetings here in the united states today. it was the first time the conference has been in the united states in a quarter century. the theme this week is turning the tide with leaders ranging from bill gates to elton john . we interviewed him. hillary clinton and former first lady, laura bush .
>> the health of women affects families, communities and whole countries. healthy mothers make healthy families. when a mother dies , her children are up to ten times more likely to die themselves and are less likely to ever go to school.
>> the lead scientist at the conference giving the lead address is aids pioneer, dr. anthony fauci , director of the institute of allergy and infectious diseases at the national institutes of health . well, this was such an important conference. are we at a turning point? is the tide changing? looking back at 1987 , when the last time the conference was here, have we made those, are we closer to making the critical discoveries?
>> well, we have made some critical discoveries where the tide can turn so what we've shown in a cumulative way over the years is that we now have the scientific tools, not all of them, but the scientific tools in prevention and treatment that basic science has given us that if we implement them aggressively and properly, that we can see the turning of the tide of the pandemic which means the slope of the trajectory is going to go down and we are going to start seeing at various regional and global levels what we're talking about a pathway towards ending the pandemic. but that's not going to happen spontaneo spontaneously. it will happen if we really push the envelope. but we have the tools.
>> we now have still 2.5 million cases of new infections a year, we have millions and millions of people, eight million people are receiving the anti-retroviral drugs but at the same time, we have millions more who need them and are not getting them.
>> right. what we know now, when you treat people and get them on therapy and they stay on therapy, not only do you save the life of an individual, but you remarkably and dramatically decrease the likelihood that they are going to transmit infection to their uninfected sexual partner. then we have modalities of prevention that we know when we implement them, work. major successes in prevention of mother-to-child transmission. major changes and prevention modalities that we never had before like circumcision in some of the developing world , decreases it by 60% chance of acquiring infection. these are biologically proven modalities which is the reason why we can say we just need to implement them.
>> and that means money. the u.s. has led the way, actually, with the expansion in the money, the global aids fund under george w. bush , for which he is being heralded and bill clinton has led the way as well in communicating this around the world, the importance of all of this. hillary clinton added money to it this year. but at the same time, when will we see a vaccine?
>> a vaccine is still in the stage of scientific discovery . we don't have a vaccine yet. we had a trial that was only moderately effective, not ready for prime time . but the scientific advances that will give us a vaccine and we can't predict when, if you put that in the combination of preventions, then that trajectory decrease will be even greater.
>> dr. fauci, thank you for your leadership on this. it's really inspiring. we will continue this conversation throughout the year, not only when the world is watching.
>> thank you.