University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
Those of us who have been engaged in HIV therapeutics for the past 2 decades remember all too well the excitement of the 24-month period from 1994 to 1996 that witnessed the treatment paradigm shift from sequential failing regimens of nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (nRTIs) to stable, "fully" suppressive combination regimens. AIDS as we knew it during the first 15 years of our awareness of the illness has shifted in the most recent 15 years from an inexorably progressive disease to one that can be arrested for a prolonged period of time. The speed of this paradigm shift was the result of a well-integrated research effort that included basic, translational, and clinical components that were able to take advantage of a robust pipeline of antiretroviral drugs. Many have argued that the transformation in the prognosis of HIV infection was one of the most impressive demonstrations in recent history of the value of investments in biomedical research.