via the Huffington Post, by Michael Warren

“Now is exactly the time to maintain commitment. Now is exactly the time to hold a steady course in funding for basic science, clinical trials and product development. It’s good business sense: Our investments are paying off — and the dividend, in the form of an effective vaccine, would have value beyond our wildest dreams.”
Recent news about HIV/AIDS has focused on the good — promising trial results that prove the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs used to treat HIV can also prevent HIV infections — and the bad — retreats in donor commitment that imperil the substantial gains that have been made in treating global AIDS, at the precise moment that treatment has been recognized as a powerful prevention strategy. In discussions about whether AIDS treatment can be used to end the AIDS epidemic, scant attention is paid to the search for an AIDS vaccine.

When AIDS vaccines do get mentioned, it is often in the context of questions about whether a vaccine is still needed, or whether the search for an AIDS vaccine is affordable in today’s economic climate.

Researchers and advocates who gathered Sept. 12-15 in Bangkok, Thailand, for the AIDS Vaccine 2011 conference have clear answers: Yes, we still need a vaccine, and yes, we need to continue to invest in AIDS vaccine research.

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