Vaccines Hold Greatest Hope of Halting Spread of HIV/AIDS; HIV-Negative Volunteers for Trials Needed, Opinion Piece Says
Although many HIV prevention "strategies are under investigation," the best "long-term hope to stop the global spread" of the virus is "finding a safe, effective vaccine" to prevent HIV transmission, Tom Kennedy, a member of the San Francisco HIV Prevention Planning Council and a group counselor at the UCSF AIDS Health Project, writes in a Bay Area Reporter opinion piece. Current research focuses on vaccines that could "slo[w] down the time it takes to progress to an AIDS diagnosis," or be "partially effective" at preventing transmission of the virus, according to Kennedy. In addition, experimental microbicides and the antiretroviral drug tenofovir are being tested for their potential safety and efficacy as preventive HIV treatments, Kennedy writes. "To realize these goals, it will take activists pushing for greater cooperation between international corporations and governments, as well as firm commitments to make discoveries available to everyone who needs them," Kennedy says, adding, "In the coming years, it will also take thousands of HIV-negative people from every racial and ethnic group who are willing to volunteer in clinical trials" (Kennedy, Bay Area Reporter, 3/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.