Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that attacks and weakens the immune system. HIV attacks CD4 cells, which are important for the immune system’s response against bacteria, fungi and viruses, leaving the body without a defense against serious infections.
The world is making tremendous progress to curb the course of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Since peaking in 2005, AIDS-related deaths have decreased by nearly one-third and new HIV infections in children have fallen by more than half since 2001.
Nevertheless, many challenges remain in the areas of both treatment and public education. Today, it is estimated that 35 million people are currently living with HIV, with 2.5 million becoming newly infected each year. The majority of people living with HIV today are in Sub-Saharan Africa where as many as one in five adults are infected with the virus and it is expected that 1.8 million of them will die this year.
As a transformational medical innovator Janssen, the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson, is committed to the prevention, detection, education and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
We are committed to extensive research and development of medicines to treat HIV, combat resistance, simplify treatment, discover, develop and conduct early basic research toward fulfilling the dream of a preventive HIV vaccine. Over the last 10 years Janssen has established itself as credible partner in the fight against HIV, introducing four medicines for the treatment of this devastating disease.
During the course of 2014 we announced several collaborations with organizations such as ViiV Healthcare, Gilead Sciences Inc., PATH and the International Partnership for Microbicides to further deliver on this commitment.
The HIV vaccine regimens we are working on in collaboration with researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Division of AIDS (DAIDS), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) are frontrunners in development today.
HIV/AIDS is one of the most complex global health challenges we face, and it demands equally smart solutions. Innovative collaborations that unite industry, nonprofits, donors and patient advocacy groups are an example of how to develop and deliver critically needed health tools effectively and efficiently.
Through our HIV Medicines Access & Partnerships Program we provide affordable and sustainable access to our HIV medicines in resource-limited settings through a variety of licensing agreements and collaborations. We are further collaborating with researchers to study how our medicines can be used best to help patients in developing countries and providing medical education to ensure our medicines are used appropriately in these settings.
During the course of 2014 we launched a collaborative commitment, New Horizons Advancing Pediatric HIV Treatment, to build awareness and incite action around the unmet needs of HIV treatment-experienced children and adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa. We collaborate with patient advocacy groups to understand the needs of people living with HIV and on supporting programs that seek to empower those people living with HIV. One example is our longstanding partnership with National Aids Manual (NAM), a United Kingdom-based HIV organization that runs the online resource aidsmap, which provides HIV/AIDS news, impartial information and critically important tools to a global audience.
In addition, through Johnson & Johnson, we have more than 100 philanthropic programs in more than 50 least-developed countries that attempt to address the needs of those affected by HIV/AIDS. Visit our dedicated Global Public Health section to learn even more.