Françoise Barré-Sinoussi :

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi : “The fear and panic of the aids is not the solution”

Nobel prize for medicine in 2008, co-découvreuse of the HIV virus, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi has just taken the head of Sidaction

On the occasion of 1st December, international Day of struggle against aids, she gives Figaro his first interview, insisting on two priorities: renewing the awareness of the young, and redouble our efforts in the search.LE FIGARO.

– At a time when the treatments allow people to live normally, aids is no longer frightening to a young person out of four.

How to continue to raise awareness in this context? Françoise BARRÉ-SINOUSSI. – Today, some people think that it is better to have HIV than diabetes. It is very disturbing. It would be necessary that young people realize what is the life of people with HIV on treatment, including through statements that may have missed these past few years. Most French people are unaware that about 10% of people under long-term treatment develop cancer or diseases of aging early.

The information that come to them are incomplete and should be updated.

But I don’t think that the fear of “panic” of aids is the solution. This type of reaction has never solved the problems, as we have shown recently the hysteria that has surrounded the Ebola epidemic. An awareness of the reality of the situation seems to be more effective for that young people feel responsible for themselves, their sexual partners and others. “The activism continues in other forms. It is perhaps less visible than that of the early 1990s, but its role remains crucial” One in five young people think that HIV can be transmitted through kissing, one in six believes that the contraceptive pill can prevent the transmission. ..

.. In parallel, there is an increasing contamination of 24 % among young people aged 15 to 24 years of age since 2007. How to combat the false ideas and eliminate this phenomenon? There is a problem of health education.

The awareness at the level of colleges and secondary schools is no longer what it was at a certain time. The training is a bit outdated.

I don’t think it is anywhere-to-date on the tools of prevention, treatment. Beyond that, we also need large information campaigns or operations, such as the one Sidaction leads with the contest VIH Pocket Film to engage 15-25 year-olds through the video and encourage them to put their universe in the service of this struggle. The fight against aids, has struggled to find the fighting spirit, the activist, the beginnings. .. .. This activism dates back to the days where people were fighting just to live, as we see in the remarkable film about Act Up, 120 Beats per minute .

. Today, the activism continues in other forms. It is perhaps less visible than that of the early 1990s, but its role remains paramount.

The scientific community must provide evidence to convince the governments to take measures with the associative movement at his side. It should not be forgotten that the struggle of the two associations has helped to bring down the prices of drugs, has contributed to the development of generic drugs, to the establishment of a global fund.

.. .. This joint action, characteristic of the fight against HIV, is very well represented at Sidaction, only French association of fight against HIV by funding research. “Each year, approximately 6,000 people are discovering hiv in France and 1.

.8 million at the global level” How to succeed Pierre Bergé, an emblematic figure of the fight against aids, but also a figure of controversy, notably when he was accused of the “Telethon” to divert the generosity of the public? We did not succeed to Pierre Bergé. Certainly, there have been a number of controversies, but he was a remarkable man. Behind a shell that it was deliberately forged, he had a heart of gold.

He understood that this fight against HIV/aids was also a political struggle, and his voice carried in this environment. I do not have his address book or his political contacts. But I bring my scientific credibility of the researcher. Today, I am a little concerned because I don’t hear a lot about health care since the presidential election. We need to have a political position stronger. Emmanuel Macron had an opportunity to address this topic at the Conference on HIV Science, held in July in Paris, but he was not able to attend. I expect a speech from the president in person.

Can we predict the end of aids? The objective of the WHO / Unaids for 2030 is to have detected 90 % of people infected with the aids virus (human immunodeficiency virus or HIV), have put on antiretroviral treatment to 90 % and get 90% of these people continue their treatment so that their virus is under control. If we do that, we will get not a total eradication of the aids, which will persist all the same low-noise, but at least control that is very effective with the HIV epidemic.

Is this realistic? It is a subject of anguish.

Every year, approximately 6,000 people are discovering hiv in France and 1. .8 million at the global level. How to act in the most remote areas? How to reach the approximately 30 % of people who are HIV-positive without knowing it? It is necessary to support the research because it is from there that comes the response, with the development of a vaccine and new treatments. We are beginning to see in countries emerging resistance to antiviral drugs in people who have never had treatment before. My blue fear, it is seeing a situation of multidrug resistance, such as for tuberculosis. . .


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