The goals achieved over these years are eloquent: more than 270,000 people treated in 10 African countries. Among these, 47,000 children which, since 2002, have been offered a future through therapy and a diagnostic of excellence. The concrete expression of the meaning of therapy as prevention is the birth of over 55,000 babies born healthy (AIDS free).
This is a success achieved through the adoption, by the Program, of the Anti-Retroviral Therapy during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. Therefore, the percentage of babies born HIV positive was basically cleared, also – this is a decisive fact – mothers who were treated continued to live and take care of their children. In addition, by administrating the therapy to mothers a reduction of maternal maternity, equal to that of the general population of the country, was achieved.
A different significant achievement is that more than 5000 African health professionals were trained in its 13 years of activity, 42 treatment centers implemented both in large cities and in rural areas, along with 21 laboratories of molecular biology for the diagnosis and monitoring of HIV \ AIDS and other infections. It is possible to estimate that along the years DREAM, through health education, prevention courses and awareness in working places, schools, universities, radio and television, managed to reach tens of millions of people, to defeat a world of prejudice and the resignation with which the disease was dealt.
Undoubtedly, the program would not have been able to grow and deal with the significant organizational and therapeutic problems with such good results if it were founded on the initiative of an individual or isolated group; it was necessary to work together, people of the North and South of the world, specialists and patients, secular and religious, volunteers and professionals, donors and governments. A harmony of vision was therefore created which has represented an extra strength: each person has its own role and its work to deal with this terrible pandemic (from home care to biologists, from doctors to logisticians, nurses to activists). The capacity to socialize difficulties and the solutions found to problems of any kind that have emerged along the way have allowed us not to start again from the beginning in every country, but to grow together quickly, by incorporating the experiences of others anywhere within the “DREAM system”. The permanent relationship, computerized and professional, but also friendly, between those who are in the North and those in the South, has allowed to optimize the system, quickly making the highest standards available, even when starting a new center and having almost a whole new staff.
When we started taking the first steps, the dream of bringing treatment to AIDS in Africa was considered by many a utopia, a beautiful project, ambitious but unachievable. Over the years, the global interest and funding in the fight against the disease have led to better chances of diagnosis and treatment in many areas of the world, including Africa, and the development of new groups of drugs. Today, after more than a decade, thanks to the intervention of DREAM, it is now possible to prevent and treat HIV / AIDS in all African countries.