March 18, 2002
Last month, researchers told an AIDS conference that a new vaccine is showing promise in early human testing, but they cautioned they are still years away from proving it works. Experts believe a vaccine is the only way to stop the worldwide AIDS epidemic, which has already killed 20 million people and infected 40 million more.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health, outlined his agency's AIDS research for the panel. Asked if he thought an eventual AIDS vaccine would be a one-time injection or would need annual repeats like the flu vaccine, he indicated that periodic boosters would probably be needed. Fauci also warned against becoming complacent, commenting that "we might not yet be at the peak of the HIV pandemic worldwide."