||Adeyemo Gabriel [ profile ]
Does finding an AIDS vaccine matters any more?
May 23rd, 2011 - 06:49:41
Source:* Independent (UK)*
AUTHOR: Steve Connor
On Sunday 5 June it will be 30 years exactly since the first scientific
report of a mysterious outbreak of pneumonia among a group of five gay men
at three different hospitals in Los Angeles. The study, published in the
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the US Center for Disease Control,
marked the start of what later became known as the Aids epidemic, which has
since consumed millions of lives around the world.
In many ways, the past 30 years of Aids research has been a triumph of
science. Soon after that initial report, epidemiologists were able to point
to an infectious agent as the cause of the immune failure leading to the
range of opportunistic infections known as Aids. Within three years,
virologists had pinned the blame for the infection on a new human
retrovirus, later named formally by an international committee of
virologists as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Just a decade later, with all the power of modern molecular biology brought
to bear on the problem, we learnt about HIV's highly variable genetic
structure and how the virus was able to trick its way out of counter-attacks
launched by the human immune system. But science developed anti-retroviral
drugs to block its replication, and doctors devised a treatment regime,
known as ART, that over the past decade has transformed the lives of people
infected with the virus
The latest study, published earlier this month, shows that if you give
anti-retrovirals early enough to infected people, there is a stunning 96 per
cent reduction in HIV transmission to uninfected partners. The trial,
involving nearly 2,000 couples, was stopped early because the results were
so promising. Indeed, the study was called a "game-changer" in terms of
controlling the epidemic.
This all stands in sad contrast to the dismal efforts at producing an Aids
vaccine. Despite the fact that hundreds of millions of pounds have been
spent on trying to develop a vaccine over the past three decades, there has
been nothing like the scientific success seen in other areas of HIV
Yours' in Prevention Science
Adeyemo Damilare Gabriel
Regional Focal Point - West Africa
Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AID (GYCA)
+234-80-6798-7317 | gabriel (at) gyca.org
www.gyca.org | www.tigweb.org
GYCA is a youth-led global network of more than 5,000 young leaders and
adult allies working on youth and HIV/AIDS in 150 countries world-wide.
GYCA's mission is to empower young leaders with the skills, knowledge,
resources and opportunities they need to scale up HIV/AIDS interventions
amongst their peers.
Universal Access is possible; *
*Zero new HIV infections. **Zero discrimination and ***Zero AIDS-related