Increased Research, Determination Needed in HIV/AIDS Vaccine Efforts, HIV Vaccine Enterprise Head Says
May 12, 2008
The disappointment that followed the cancellation of a Merck vaccine trial in September 2007 has been replaced by a renewed determination among the scientific community, Alan Bernstein, executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, said ahead of the 25th anniversary of the scientific paper announcing the discovery of HIV, the CP/Yahoo! News reports. "I could not guarantee that one day we'll have a vaccine," Bernstein said, adding, "But not to try is to say to all the 33 million people" who are living with HIV worldwide, as well as the 2.3 million people who contract the virus "every year," that researchers are "giving up."
According to Bernstein, the result of a number of recent conferences to address HIV/AIDS vaccine research is a consensus to focus on more basic and early-stage clinical research. Such research will allow scientists to examine what happens when people contract HIV, as well as how the immune system functions, Bernstein said. "If we do the kinds of research that's needed to understand how we react to HIV, that ultimately will inform a lot of research on other pathogens," he said (Branswell, CP/Yahoo! News, 5/8).
A summary of Bernstein's editorial is available online.
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.