HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
Dr. Anthony Fauci — director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — discusses this year's observance of "HIV Vaccine Awareness Day."
Akinso: It's a day to educate folks about the ongoing search for a vaccine to prevent HIV. May 18th has been dubbed "HIV Vaccine Awareness Day" where we get the opportunity to recognize the efforts of courageous clinical-trial participants, scientists, and health professionals who are committed to finding an effective vaccine. Doctor Anthony Fauci — Director of the National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases — believes this day has an important educational benefit.
Fauci: I think that the general public can gain information, and can get a more-keen awareness of what the issues are, why it's important to develop an HIV vaccine, and how they may contribute as volunteers in vaccine trials, as they come along — which they certainly will.
Akinso: This day reflects a hope that, one day, the AIDS pandemic will end. Doctor Fauci is optimistic a vaccine will be discovered.
Fauci: The theme is called "Hope For The Future" — and it represents just that. We are making some headway in this country — and in certain countries of the world — in preventing HIV infection in certain segments of the population. Unfortunately, in other segments of the population, and in many countries, HIV infection is still out of control, and getting worse. There's no doubt that an important component of a comprehensive plan for the prevention of HIV is the development of a safe and effective vaccine. So, we have hope for that. And, that's what we talk about on "Vaccine Awareness Day" — this hope for the future.
Akinso: Currently, more than 30 HIV vaccine-trial concepts are in various stages of testing, or under development. However, any large-scale HIVvaccine trial will require thousands more participants of different races and genders, to ensure that the vaccine is effective for everyone. For more information on a possible HIVclinical trial — including eligibility criteria — visit www.cc.nih.gov, or call 1-800-411-1222. This is Wally Akinso, at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.