World AIDS Vaccine Day 2022
World Aids Vaccine Day is on May 18 2022
As we all know, AIDS and HIV is an ever present health issue in our society. As yet there is still no known vaccine that can be used to stem the flow of this deadly infection. To raise awareness of the continued need for a vaccine there is a day set aside every year that is known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, or World Aids Day.
It is held every year on May 18. As well as raising awareness of the need for a vaccine it also celebrates those that work towards this goal. All those who help victims of the infection also receive praise on this poignant day.
The first HIV vaccine clinical trial opened at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. This Phase 1 trial enrolled 138 healthy, HIV-negative volunteers. The gp160 subunit vaccine showed no serious adverse effects.
In 1997, during a speech made at Morgan State University, president of the day Bill Clinton asked for experts and scientists around the world to work towards creating a vaccine for AIDS. He said that this would be the only way to limit its spread and eventually wipe it out.
HIV gradually weakens the immune system in humans and exposes people to pathogens that take advantage of compromised immunity which causes life-threatening complications. An HIV vaccine, which could be preventive or therapeutic, is thus an absolute need.
Research on a HIV vaccine began in 1987 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland, US. Covid-19 vaccine research has helped speed-up this process. As noted in an article on the non-profit National Public Radio (NPR) website, Immunologist William Schief of the Scripps Research Institute is working on an HIV vaccine that uses the same mRNA technology used in Covid vaccines.
Dr Derseree Archary, a senior scientist at the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) says, “I know this experimental vaccine sounds like science fiction, but I think in the next 5, 6 years, we should have a vaccine, hopefully, that may be able to confer some degree of protection against HIV.”
A theme for this year’s celebration of World AIDS Vaccine Day, also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, has not been announced yet. You can visit HIV.gov website for further updates: https://www.hiv.gov/events/awareness-days