The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), the last stage of HIV infection. HIV attacks and weakens the body’s immune system—specifically T cells—and reduces its ability to fight infection and disease.
The evolution of HIV/AIDS treatment is nothing short of remarkable. In the 1980s, HIV/AIDS was an acute fatal disease. Today it is a chronic, manageable condition thanks to the commitment of biopharmaceutical researchers, health care workers and advocates.
Over the years, treatments for infectious diseases have grown steadily more complex, and today, our ability to respond to diseases like COVID-19 is radically different than it would have been even a few decades ago.
Today, a 20-year-old with HIV can expect to live to the age of 70. Few diseases have seen similar progress, and it's somewhat astounding to see that in just over 30 years, HIV has gone from a death sentence to a chronic medical condition.
At a recent event held by The Atlantic, scientists and researchers joined others in the biopharmaceutical industry to discuss genomics' ever-evolving and critically important role in treating disease.