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Perspective

'40% of people who need to be on HIV treatment are not,' Nobel laureate warns

Treatment of HIV has made considerable progress since the discovery of the virus. Today, people who are diagnosed early on and who immediately receive treatment have a life expectancy similar to anyone else. But as fears have diminished, so too has people's awareness. FRANCE 24 spoke to Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2008 for being one of the scientists who discovered HIV.

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"We have 37 million people living with HIV worldwide, we have only 20 million on treatment. So 40 percent of people who need to be on treatment are not and they continue to spread the virus," she told FRANCE 24.

Professor Barré-Sinoussi says that a sizeable group of young people and even the over-50s no longer use condoms as a precaution. Fifteen to twenty people are diagnosed with HIV in France every day.

Barré-Sinoussi says that she doesn’t expect to see a world without HIV until a vaccination has been developed, a step which she believes is still a long way off.

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