World ‘Can’t Wait’ for AIDS Vaccine, Must Focus on Preventive Measures Such as Microbicides, ‘ABC’ Method, Editorial Says
An HIV/AIDS vaccine would be a "medical miracle," but its "limits" should be recognized, a San Francisco Chronicle editorial says. There is "no simple answer" to why an AIDS vaccine has not been developed, as researchers have "tried numerous approaches," but, of 22 current vaccine candidates in human trials, "none promises a huge breakthrough," the editorial says. Further, researchers "expect an AIDS vaccine would reduce, not eliminate, the likelihood of infection," the editorial says. Therefore, a vaccine is "not the only choice" for preventing HIV/AIDS, according to the Chronicle. Preventive measures such as microbicides, the "ABC" approach -- Abstinence, Be faithful, use Condoms -- and male circumcision and inexpensive treatment for genital herpes, require more studies to test their potential, the editorial says. Because the world "can't wait" for a vaccine that would "save the planet from a plague that may kill 70 million by 2020," other methods of prevention "will have to continue," the editorial concludes (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.