Effective AIDS Vaccine Likely 15 Years Away Because of Funding Shortfalls, Disease Complexity, Scientists Say
An effective HIV/AIDS vaccine likely will not be developed for another 15 years because of the disease's complexity and a lack of funding, scientists said on Thursday at the close of a four-day conference, titled "A Time To Heal: Cracking Africa's Killer Diseases," in Nairobi, Kenya, Xinhuanet reports. In addition, vaccines for tuberculosis and malaria also are likely to take between five and 15 years to develop, according to scientists at the conference, which was sponsored by the Africa Genome Education Institute (Xinhuanet, 3/25). "HIV is an intractable virus, while tuberculosis and malaria pose formidable challenges," AGEI Interim Director Wilmot James said, adding, "Scientific drive continues, but deliveries are, as in the nature of fundamental research, uncertain" (Daily Nation, 3/25). James said that "major public commitments" are needed for research into TB, malaria and other tropical diseases. According to the World Health Organization, less than 1% of total public and private health research funds in recent years has been devoted to TB, malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia -- which account for more than 20% of the world's disease burden. "Governments, foundations and private companies can invest more in the training and development at university level of students in modern biology," AGEI said in a statement. However, many African governments have said that already are "struggling" to provide basic services, including health care, education and security, and do not have additional money available for research, according to Reuters Health (Reuters Health, 3/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.