Nobel Prize for medicine awarded to French discoverers of HIV

The 2008 Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded to French scientists Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier for their work in the discovery of HIV. The award was shared with Harald zur Hausen, who discovered the human papillomavirus (HPV).

The Nobel Foundation statement said that the significance of Barre-Sinoussi and Montagnier’s achievements should be viewed in the context of a global ubiquitous epidemic affecting close to 1% of the population. The statement also said that the discovery of HIV was a prerequisite for current understanding of the biology of HIV/AIDS and antiretroviral treatment. It added, “This has allowed identification of important details in its replication cycle and how the virus interacts with its host. Furthermore, it led to development of methods to diagnose infected patients and to screen blood”.

Source: Kaiser Daily News (6 Oct 2008)

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