An HIV Vaccine is within reach

An effective, affordable, and accessible HIV vaccine is 7-10 years away, according to scientists at the Medical Research Council of South Africa, in this week’s BMJ. However, its success depends on a complex interplay of politics, science, and public-private partnerships.

Equitable public-private partnerships between researchers, manufacturers, and distributors and partnerships between rich and poor countries are the best strategy for the development of the vaccine, say the authors. Successful vaccine development also entails adequate investment in the countries that carry the burden of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Vaccines are the only hope for the control and possible elimination of HIV infection. How we distribute the vaccine will also be a test of our international ethics and humanitarian objectives, they write.

If we fail to provide the world with an effective HIV vaccine, future generations will judge us harshly, because this failure will not be due to lack of ability or resources but to politics, they conclude.

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