Drive for an AIDS vaccine
Let's get real about AIDS, Dr. Seth Berkeley said at a Brainstorm tutorial. Changing behavior may be a 100% certain way of preventing the disease but only one thing will bring the epidemic to an end - and it's not abstinence, not condom use, and not a still-undeveloped microbicide for women, as important as all those approaches are. The only long-term solution is an AIDS vaccine.
As founder and head of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a global public-private partnership, Dr. Berkeley explained why developing a vaccine is an incredibly complex, difficult and time-consuming task.
Think about it - you need to persuade many thousands of healthy people to take medicine that may or may not work, and may or may not have side effects. The legal and moral issues are daunting, and it's no surprise that very few drug companies are interested.
The good news is that 30 potential vaccines are in the early stages of testing, and a couple of large human trials have begun. The Gates Foundation has been a big supporter of Dr. Berkeley, and Warren Buffett's money will help, too.
And hey - we developed vaccines to all but eliminate polio, smallpox and measles. We ought to be able to do the same for AIDS, the most lethal human plague since the 14th century. Posted by Marc Gunther
Check out this introduction article on Vaccine:
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