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[Comment] AIDS 2016: from aspiration to implementation

Since AIDS was first recognised in 1981, more than 75 million HIV infections and more than 36 million deaths have occurred.1 HIV infection is no longer an inexorable death sentence but a chronic manageable infection. Key factors responsible for this transformation have been an understanding of the modes of HIV transmission,2 the development of effective combination antiretroviral therapy,3 and the validation of surrogate markers to monitor the response to treatment.4 But currently less than half of all people living with HIV worldwide have access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy,5 at a time when donor interest is uncertain and global funding flattening.