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2011年科学界“年度突破”

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小编摘要:《科学》杂志将一项艾滋病研究视为2011年“年度突破”,该研究发现,抗逆转录病毒药物可大大降低艾滋病毒的传播几率。

2011年科学界“年度突破”

The journal Science chose an AIDS study as the twenty-eleven "Breakthrough of the Year." The study found that antiretroviral drugs can greatly lower the risk of spreading HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. It showed that infected people with early treatment were ninety-six percent less likely to infect their partners.

The study was a clinical trial known as HPTN 052. Myron Cohen led an international team that began the study in two thousand seven and announced the results last May. But Dr. Cohen says the work really began twenty years ago.

MYRON COHEN: "We had a strong suspicion based on all the biological studies we had done that when we treat people and lower the concentration of HIV in the blood and secretions, we were rendering them less contagious. But we didn't understand the magnitude of the benefit. It blows a gigantic wind behind the idea that treatment will serve as prevention."

Dr. Cohen is director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases paid for the study.

The study involved heterosexual couples in nine countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas. The results have already had an effect on government policies. Those changes include treating HIV-infected people when their immune systems are still relatively healthy.

MYRON COHEN: "This particular 052 study in the last six months has generated policy changes at the level of the United States and the World Health Organization and UNAIDS. And it's inspired new community-based clinical trials that are just about to be launched that apply the scientific discovery. So when you do a single study and it receives so much recognition, and then seems to inform policy in a dramatic way, you think, OK, this was twenty years well-spent."

Dr. Cohen says the study results will be wasted unless they are linked to other areas of HIV treatment and prevention.

MYRON COHEN: "So the 052 study kind of lends itself to understanding that if we don't know who's positive and negative, there's no benefit. If people aren't linked to care, there's no benefit. If they aren't provided drugs, there's no benefit. If they receive the drugs but don't take the pills, there's no benefit. So this cascade is now the focus of our attention."

AIDS activist Mitchell Warren was among those who welcomed the results.

MITCHELL WARREN: "Treatment is prevention. And that becomes a fundamentally different conversation because for many years debates have waged whether we should do treatment or prevention. And the results of the HPTN 052 study actually affirm once and for all that treatment is prevention."

Science also recognized nine other scientific developments last year. You can find the list at 51voa.com. They include progress on a malaria vaccine and research on the DNA of our ancient ancestors. They also include a study of cells that have stopped dividing. It found that clearing them from the bodies of mice can delay some of the effects of aging.
《科学》杂志将一项艾滋病研究视为2011年“年度突破”,该研究发现,抗逆转录病毒药物可大大降低艾滋病毒的传播几率。研究表明,受感染者如果接受早期治疗,将有96%的可能无法感染到其伴侣。

这项临床试验研究被称为HPTN 052,2007年Myron Cohen带领一个国际小组开始了此项研究,并于去年五月宣布了研究结果。但Cohen说真正的研究工作其实20年前就开始了。

Myron Cohen:“基于我们所做的所有生物实验,我们强烈怀疑,当我们治疗病人,降低血液和分泌物中艾滋病毒浓度的时候,就降低了它们的感染性。但我们并不知道其受益程度,这让我们突发奇想:治疗可以用作预防。”

Cohen是北卡罗来纳大学教堂山分校全球卫生和传染病研究所所长,美国国立过敏和传染病研究所为该研究提供资金。

研究调查了非洲、亚洲和美洲9个国家的异性伴侣,研究结果对政府的政策也有所影响,这些变化包括,当其免疫系统仍相对健康时,就对受艾滋感染的人群进行治疗。

Myron Cohen:“过去6个月来,这个特别的052研究引起美国、世界卫生组织和联合国艾滋病规划署政策发生变化,也启发了即将推行的应用科学发现的基于社区的新临床试验。所以,从事一项单一研究并得到这么多的认可,并似乎戏剧性地影响到政策,你就会认为这20年功夫没白费。”

Cohen博士说,如果不与艾滋病治疗与预防的其他领域的研究相结合,这些研究结果就会白费。

Myron Cohen:“因此,类似052的研究让我们明白,如果不知道谁是阴性谁是阳性,如果病人没有得到治疗,不给他们提供药物,如果他们拿了药物却不服用,就不会有益处,所以这些问题是我们关注的重点。”

艾滋病活动家Mitchell Warren就是这些研究的支持者。

Mitchell Warren:“治疗就是预防,这就成了根本上不同的对话,因为多年来都在争论到底该治疗还是预防,HPTN 052研究得出了这样彻底的结果,那就是,治疗即预防。”

《科学》杂志还表扬了去年的另外9项科技发展。你可以在51voa.com网站上找到该名单。其中包括疟疾疫苗以及我们远古祖先的DNA研究的进展。还包括一项已经停止分裂的细胞的研究,该研究发现,从老鼠身体中清除这种细胞后,可以延缓衰老。

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2012-01-13 20:43 编辑:pliny
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