Sunday , May 16 2021

Julio González Montaner: "In the HIV / AIDS epidemic, she returned to her origin: neither younger people under 30 nor adults over 50 use condoms"



It's the same room at the University of British Columbia that at the end of the 1990s it became the most impressive scientific laboratory in the world and where Montaner announced the whole world at the legendary Vancouver Conference in 1996: Gentlemen, we found a brake on HIV / AIDS!

That brake was a call cocktail or antiretroviral therapy Highly effective against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), HAART, for an acronym in English. Montener from Canada was the leader of the team of infectious scientists and experts who led scientific research and clinical trials to detect an antiretroviral drug that definitely and forever changed the indelible scenario of death that by 1996 encircled patients with HIV. AIDS

What else can you ask this Argentine doctor, a pneumologist as stated in his or her backgrounds? There is always something else for Dr. Julio González Montaner. In order not to waste time in recent years and taking advantage of its size as a global scientist, Montaner was one of the architects of Targets 90-90-90 against AIDS, which the United Nations today vigorously promote, so that each state will receive and invest more budget for 2020.

The 90-90-90 program concept finds that 90% of people living with HIV / AIDS know their condition, that 90% of people who know their HIV status receive antiretroviral treatment and that 90% of people in treatment are suppression of viral load.

In a dialog with InfobaeMontaner has doubled the appeal to the world leaders within the G20 in Buenos Aires: "Argentina has won the 20 most powerful countries in the world this weekend on the date when World Day to Fight HIV / AIDS, and I am surprised that this is not a figure on the world agenda the commitment that the same nations have already preferred: doubling campaign budgets and accessing treatment for HIV / AIDS. For all this, the fulfillment of the goals 90-90-90 is clearly exposed to risk. "

Disease under control that wakes up again

As the 21st century progressed, and with the disease controlled, the obsession of the renowned physician Gonzalez Montaner is to communicate by the time of messages and campaigns to prevent HIV / AIDS, Acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

In this regard, Montaner noted Infobae: "It is necessary to develop with the discourse on HIV Today problems with AIDS virus infection occur in two corners of life: in young gay and heterosexuals – under 30 years – and in adults over 50 years There are facts about the reality that are disturbing and we can not ignore them. The trilogy of messages must be more complicated: abstinence, fidelity and condom use for risk groups and those infected. The disturbing thing about these behaviors is that they are pushing the disease back to the beginning. "

Today, the province of British Columbia, Vancouver, where Montaner lives, works and integrates the selected group of so-called "conscience men of Canada", has become a successful incubator in HIV-infected patients, especially in intravenous drug addicts and in vertical transmission by a mother kid.

Talk to a pioneer in the fight against HIV / AIDS

In a dialog with Infobae during his time in Buenos Aires to participate as the main speaker at the scientific conference "Strategies for controlling diseases with high social impact", organized by the Medical School of the University of Del Salvador, Montanner strongly referred to the optimization of antiretroviral treatment as the key to controlling the AIDS pandemic, and shared the case with Canada.

– What is the status of the HIV / AIDS disease today? Do you think there is a certain trivialisation of the use of condoms?

González Montaner: Investments in the fight against AIDS have not increased in most countries in the world, either in powerful countries and fewer in vulnerable economies. I consider myself a champion in the control of the HIV / AIDS disease and I am honored with the whole world, but today I must say that I am very disappointed, because from a scientific point of view we achieved our goal: we created the guide, the map for controlling the epidemic, but we know that we did not win anything. In the HIV / AIDS epidemic, she returned to her origin and "eats" for extreme years: neither young homosexuals and / or heterosexuals under the age of 30, nor adults over the age of 50 use condoms.

The campaign of the Goals 90-90-90 concept started in 2006, when my studies were published in the scientific journal Lancet, and we already said What: if we diagnose and treat all patients in a particular jurisdiction; We will end up with morbidity, mortality and transmission of HIV.

However, in the face of something so strong, the investment to fight AIDS on a global scale has not increased since 2006. And this is despite the fact that I met G7 sharks before, in the G20 today, with Parliament English, the White House, the Argentine government, Canada, the UN … and with whom you can imagine .

Everyone says yes, but not everyone has done what they have done. If we fail to stimulate the investment against HIV / AIDS, the promise for a generation without AIDS will not be achieved.

– Let's go back to the topic of the lack of HIV / AIDS prevention and the impact on the "points of life", the youngest and the elderly. What happens by spending the only chance of definitely controlling the disease?

González Montaner: Indeed, we will spend an impressive opportunity, there was no revolution in the history of public health as happened with AIDS. We came from complete ignorance in the year '81 to a nearly definitive solution in 2006, ratified by the United Nations in 2015. And if the G20 can not put the necessary resources to reach the goal from 90 -90-90, we have a very serious problem.

– The figures continue to hit, according to the UN, more than 36 million people living with HIV / AIDS around the world. Each year, 1.8 million people are infected with the virus, and 940,000 die of AIDS-related causes.

-González Montaner: I find it very interesting that we are in the province British Columbia, Canada, we have achieved a high level of HIV control in intravenous drug addicts; and not so, in groups of young homosexuals. And when we investigated this, we realized that what's happening is that drug addicts can offer a harm reduction program consisting of a drug dissection program, clean needles, injection sites supervised, medical treatment program for heroin addicts, prescribed for patients who have no other solution. So what we have concluded it is that support for the treatment of HIV added to the synergy created by the harm reduction program in an integral form has reached the resolution of the problem.

What can we offer today to a young homosexual and / or heterosexual man who does not care for himself and is at high risk? The ABC message is "abstinence, loyalty and that they use condoms". We must develop with these three options that must be adapted to the new reality we live today.

In that sense, the treatment grows PrEP-Prophylaxis of the ancestor, which emphasizes prevention, the use of condoms and periodic testing) and that in Canada we used almost a year ago, we believe that we will achieve even tighter control over the transmission of HIV / AIDS. PrEP gives us the opportunity to create synergy with treatment and a kind of environment protected from harm reduction.


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