‘Sound Scientific Reasons To Believe’ Researchers Can Create HIV/AIDS Vaccine, Opinion Piece Says
The recent failure of a Merck HIV/AIDS vaccine candidate was a "disappointment," but "failure is the rule" in vaccine and drug development, Seth Berkley, president and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece. There are "sound scientific reasons to believe [researchers] can create" an AIDS vaccine, but that "doesn't mean [they] don't have a difficult task," Berkley writes. He adds that during the past 20 years, a "steady stream of incremental advances" in knowledge has produced the "foundation for AIDS vaccine discovery efforts now under way" worldwide. These efforts would be "brought to a halt" if funding for vaccine research instead was allocated for prevention methods, Berkley writes. Vaccine research is still in the "early stages," but with "patience and a belief in science, [researchers] expect to succeed," Berkley writes, concluding that when a vaccine is available, "people will look back with gratitude on the realists who knew that the only impossible thing was giving up" (Berkley, Wall Street Journal, 4/25).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.