Commentary & Opinion
HIV Vaccine Development "Frustrating, Challenging," but Progress Being Made, NIAID's Fauci Writes in Opinion Piece
August 6, 2008
In a CNN opinion piece in advance of his talk at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City on Wednesday, Anthony Fauci, director of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, examines the progress against HIV/AIDS, as well as the work that "remains to be done." He writes that with his talk he hopes to "leave the audience with at least a tentative answer to an important question ...: Will we ever have a cure or a vaccine for HIV?" Despite "considerable success" in managing HIV and improving the length and quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS, there are "no well-documented cases of anyone truly being cured of HIV," he writes.
A "cure is critical to our attempts to ultimately contain the pandemic," Fauci writes. He adds, "As antiretroviral therapy is at present a lifelong commitment, it is extremely unlikely that we will have the logistical or financial capacity to reach and treat -- indefinitely -- everyone who requires antiretroviral therapy."
Fauci writes that he is "cautiously optimistic that we will be able to cure some patients under certain circumstances" and "develop a vaccine that will protect some people against HIV infection or slow the progression of disease in some patients who do get infected." Fauci invokes the conference theme, concluding, "we need 'Universal Action Now' to accelerate the exceptional momentum of the past few years ... in delivering proven tools of HIV prevention and therapy to communities around the globe" (Fauci, CNN, 8/5).
Kaisernetwork.org is the official webcaster of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. Click here to sign up for your Daily Update e-mail during the conference. A webcast of Fauci's talk is available online at kaisernetwork.org.
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.