Rome, July 4 - AIDS and HIV researchers in Italy signed an appeal on Thursday asking the Italian government to not cut funding for advances in the treatment and prevention of the disease and virus. The letter addressed to Premier Enrico Letta and Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin was signed by over 100 project managers for the national HIV and AIDS research program, various scientific organizations, the Italian League for the Fight against AIDS (LILA) and the Nadir foundation for patient treatment. The associations said that more cuts in research funding would take budgets down "to zero". "Important scientific results, new treatments, training for new researchers and infectious-disease physicians, as well as the retention of researchers in the country" have all come from efforts in Italy, the appeal said. If Italy cuts the budget even further, the country risks being left behind international developments that are entering a new phase in terms of treatment and prevention in the fight against AIDS and HIV," the associations said.