Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Long Road to a Vaccine

Mister Joe.My.God posted it BStewart followed up on it and now I'm adding my two cents. To what you ask? Oh just the idea that doctors are giving up hope on finding an HIV vaccine anytime soon.

The Independent’s survey of more than 35 leading Aids scientists in Britain and the United States found that just two were now more optimistic about the prospects for an HIV vaccine than they were a year ago; only four said they were more optimistic now than they were five years ago.

Nearly two thirds believed that an HIV vaccine will not be developed within the next 10 years and some of them said that it may take at least 20 more years of research before a vaccine can be used to protect people either from infection or the onset of Aids.

A substantial minority of the scientists admitted that an HIV vaccine may never be developed, and even those who believe that one could appear within the next 10 years added caveats saying that such a vaccine would be unlikely to work as a truly effective prophylactic against infection by the virus.

In my opinion there has always been a vaccine. Two of em'. They're called condoms and communication. Use them because this fucker isn't going away anytime soon. Dare we ask gay men to start talking about HIV/AIDS again or is the community going to play the "uneasy" and "offensive" card? Because, from what I've seen, we're pretty easy going and not offended toward all the explicitness and sexual activity we carry on with, but the minute there's discussion of a virus, suddenly we're offended. Suddenly, for once, we don't want to talk about sex.

Get over it. Get on with. Talk about it.

2 comments:

Kris said...

Thanks Eric and AMEN!

Jim Pickett said...

Anyone who expected a vaccine this soon - yes, this soon - is smoking something. Polio took over 40 years - for a little context. Vaccine research is not a catastrophe or a failure - HIV/AIDS is. We need to continue to support research for a vaccine - it WILL happen. But difficult science like this takes time - years and years. Time for all of us to manage our expectations. And for now, yes, we do have condoms and communication. But let us not forget that other prevention technologies are in the works - such as rectal microbicide. A rectal microbicide could be a gel or lubricant, or an enema or douche, that has anti-HIV properties and could provide protection during anal intercourse. Research is happening now and gay men need to be supporting new prevention technologies such as this. Yes, we have condoms, but why should we be satisfied? Not everyone can use them, wants to use them, uses them correctly and consistently, or has the choice to use them. Don't we deserve more choices? It aint a pipe dream - real live research is happening now - check out http://www.rectalmicrobicides.org to learn more.