While treatment for HIV has dramatically improved in the past several years, there is no substitute for prevention. Many antiretrovirals are expensive, not everyone has access to them, there are side effects, and people sometimes don't (or won't) take them.
That's why an HIV vaccine remains the holy grail. In the past year, there has been a number of promising steps. The University of Maryland School of Medicine announced its biggest research gift ever: $23.4 million for vaccine development. The team is being lead by Robert C. Gallo, the physician who co- discovered HIV and later developed the first HIV test. Meanwhile, this year, clinical trials began on two promising vaccine designs in Kenya. And researchers discovered a protein that prevents HIV from replicating in white blood cells. These are just a few of the encouraging developments, though only time will tell what comes of them.
Rod McCullom has written and produced for ABC News and NBC, and has reported for Ebony, The Advocate, Colorlines, the Black AIDS Institute and others. Rod blogs on politics, pop culture and black gay news at rod20.com.
Comment by: Andy
Sat., Dec. 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm EST
Lets see, I counted one antiquidated story about a "cure", 1 historic observation, 4 discussions about new avenues of prevention, 1 description of the adap crisis, 2 decriptions of what groups are most at risk of getting HIV and 1 issue about criminalization. Methods of prevention and understanding who is at risk are important, but prevention doesn't really do much for people who have the virus. Still, these issues occupied no less than six out of ten "defining stories". Two more were history and ONLY TWO actually addressed the issues we face-the ADAP crisis and the rise in criminalization. These don't exactly show progress. It looks to me as if 2011 was a pretty grim beast with a window towards the past and a middle finger extended towards anyone living with the virus. I hope that in 2012, we begin to understand that people currently living with HIV have HIV related needs, and make some progress in addressing these.
Comment by: Dixie
Sun., Dec. 4, 2011 at 12:44 am EST
I was so saddened to hear about the 13 year old
boy who was denied admission to a school in Hershey, Pennsylvania because he was HIV positive. How incredible!
How sad that people are still so damn ignorant!
Bless Ryan White and this 13 year old boy. I am sorry that he doesn't want to show his face but
can you blame him? We live in a world of ignorant, condemning, and mean (it all goes together), people. It sickens me to think that in 2011, people can be so judgmental and so ignorant. I don't think that would have happened in the South, actually. I hope not.
Nonetheless, I admire Ryan White and it's a shame that, for all his struggles in the spotlight, all these years later, so much of our society is still so "in the dark". God Help Them! I guess all we can do is pray for them.
They need it much worse than we do. How do they sleep at night? oh yeah, they're stupid. Isn't that the worst disease in this country?????
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