New figures have been released on the scope of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The UN agency UNAIDS says by the end of this year, forty-two million people will be infected with the AIDS virus, an increase of two million over previous estimates. The spreading pandemic, which experts say is poised to explode in Asia, highlights the need for an aids vaccine.
Chris Collins is the executive director of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition. The non-profit, consumer-based organization works to help speed development of a vaccine. From New York, Mr. Collins spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua.
He said the need for an effective AIDS vaccine becomes more urgent every year as the epidemic marches across the globe, but he says no one knows when we might have one – perhaps five to ten years from now. He says we need to work on improving access to AIDS medications already available.