Francoise Barre-Sinoussi

The current Ebola outbreak sweeping across West Africa is a steep escalation from the smaller eruptions that used to characterise this virus. Ancient diseases such as this one are adept at taking advantage of our increased global mobility to spread themselves.
It's been quite a month and I had planned on beginning this blog with an initial reflection on the recent ICAAP conference in Bangkok but that has been superseded by the passing of Nelson Mandela, a champion of the HIV/AIDS cause.
I'm writing this at the tail end of what has been a hectic but extraordinarily energising week on the path to AIDS2014 - I know it's only October 2013 but it is certainly apparent already to me and my colleagues both here in Australia and at the IAS Secretariat in Switzerland that there is already a groundswell of momentum building ahead of the event.
As I flew out from Stockholm to Denver last Wednesday it occurred to me how far we had come in HIV Cure research since the International AIDS Society held the first HIV Cure workshop at the AIDS 2010 conference in Vienna.
It's been a real step back into history these past few days at the Paris symposium to mark the 30th anniversary of the discovery of HIV. To be in the presence of so many esteemed scientists who were working at the cutting edge in what were the early darkest days of the epidemic was an honour...
I'm here in Paris a few days out from the symposium being held at the Institut Pasteur to mark the 30th anniversary of the discovery of HIV... I do not think we can underestimate the degree to which science has so significantly shifted the direction of an epidemic - HIV science has provided lessons for all of us working in the field but also for many of those working in other branches of medicine. As many of my colleagues will undoubtedly reiterate over the coming days, the role of HIV science in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic has also changed forever the way in which we deal with global health.