June 20, 2011
The success of antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS "has fooled us into believing HIV is under control. It is not. ... The fact remains that no sexually acquired infection has ever been controlled in democratic societies except by vaccines," Lawrence Corey, president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and principal investigator of the international HIV Vaccine Trials Network, writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.
Just as "government and private science collaborated to eradicate polio in the West" in the 1950s, the efforts to eradicate AIDS "cannot be done by the private sector alone. At a time when our country bitterly debates the role of government in medicine, I know that only the government's participation in a public-private partnership will produce an effective HIV/AIDS vaccine." He concludes, "To end the reign of HIV/AIDS will require an unparalleled commitment -- both intellectual and financial. Yes, there will be setbacks, but there will also be successes. Ultimately, I believe, we will see the end of HIV/AIDS" (6/18).