America’s disease expert Fauci Says The World Needs Effective Vaccine To Eradicate HIV.
Written by Atang Precious on May 19, 2021
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States, Anthony Fauci, says he hopes that a safe and effective vaccine will be developed in the next five years to prevent the human immunodeficiency virus.
According to Fauci, the world needs a safe and effective vaccine to eradicate HIV infection.
Experts note that it’s been 40 years since AIDS was first reported and we now live in a world where AIDS has become old news: the forgotten pandemic.
In a series of podcasts entitled ‘HIV unmuted,’ the International AIDS Society brings together global HIV change-makers, recreating moments in time and spotlighting the scientific advancements and human endeavours central to the response.
The efforts are geared towards “reflecting on our past, focusing on our present and looking to the future,” IAS says.
Speaking in one of the podcasts hosted by ace journalist Femi Oke and tagged ‘HIV Unmuted,’ the infectious diseases expert said though having an HIV vaccine is difficult, it is achievable.
Dr. Fauci, however, said that the development of antiretroviral drugs has helped to suppress the virus, prevents people from developing advanced HIV, and makes it impossible to transmit the virus to others.
“The biggest and last holy grail that we have to achieve is to develop a safe and effective vaccine.
“We have done spectacularly well over the years with antiretroviral drugs that we all know now have been transforming in their ability to suppress the virus to a below-detectable level,” Fauci said.
According to him, antiretroviral drugs are not only saving the lives of persons with HIV and allowing them to live essentially for most of their lives, “It has essentially made transmissibility impossible for a person with a non-detectable viral load and then we have pre-exposure prophylaxis; it is very important.
“We now have a long-acting activity that makes it easier to do a therapeutic regimen to someone, but the one last thing we need to do will be a safe and effective vaccine. As difficult as it is, it is achievable,” Fauci noted.
Recall that a report from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and Scripps Research published online in European Pharmaceutical Review showed that a new vaccine against HIV has shown promise in Phase 1 trials, leading to the production of efficient antibodies in 97 percent of participants.
Though there are ongoing researches to find a lasting cure for HIV, there is presently no licensed HIV vaccine in the market.
The first HIV vaccine trial opened in 1987 at the National Institutes of Health, Clinical Centre, USA, and its Phase 1 trial enrolled 138 healthy, HIV-negative volunteers.
This new vaccine, which is the product of collaboration between the Scripps Research Institute and non-profit IAVI, draws on a novel vaccination approach to help patients develop antibodies against HIV.
The approach, known as ‘germline targeting,’ involves triggering “naive B cells” in bodies to produce broadly neutralising antibodies that, in turn, fight the pathogen.