News / Africa

Report: HIV Prevention Research Enters New Era

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

A new report warns that promising developments in HIV prevention could be undermined by funding gaps and a lack of political will.  The report’s being released in conjunction with the 18th International AIDS Conference in Vienna.

Mitchell Warren, head of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, says the new report is called "Turning the Page."

“Turning the Page for us refers to the HIV prevention research world really entering a new period in its activity,” he says.

That new period comes 30 years into the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Good news, bad news

“We’re at a point now where some really important recent discoveries have not answered all our questions, but have certainly helped take us into some new directions and really open up a new chapter in the search for additional options to prevent HIV,” says Warren.

AVAC report released at 18 International AIDS Conference
AVAC report released at 18 International AIDS Conference

Those recent discoveries include anti-bodies found in some HIV positive people that prevent the AIDS virus from entering cells.  Then there’s last September’s results of the Thai vaccine trial, which proved a vaccine can offer some protection from infection.

But Warren says the good news comes at a time when researchers are facing a big obstacle – limited funding.

“Well, isn’t that just the way science is?  Just as we’re getting some of the most exciting results, just as we’re getting new concepts to test, we’re reaching a point in the global environment where the economy just can’t support everything…. Clearly, this is all happening in the context of severe economic crisis,” he says.

It’s time to be “smarter,” he says, about research as funding levels off or decreases.

“We’re seeing a lot of competition for resources, which is inevitable in periods of scarcity.  People saying we can’t afford to have disease specific programs.  We need public health.  We need good health systems.  Other people saying the treatment programs that have been scaled-up over the last number of years have been the best investments in building health systems, while also dealing with the AIDS epidemic,” says Warren

A microbicide that works against HIV?

One of the major announcements expected at the 18th International AIDS conference is about a microbicide gel called CAPRISA 004.

“It’s a fascinating program.  CAPRISA is the center of AIDS program of research in South Africa at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  And KwaZulu-Natal is one of the provinces of South Africa and it’s the one with the highest rates of HIV. And it’s been really the epicenter of the epidemic there,” he says

The research is funded by the South African government and USAID. Clinical trial results for CAPRISA 004, which contains HIV fighting drugs, will be released on July 20.

“Whether that result is positive or if is a flat result or something in between – something that we’re not quite sure what it is – it is the first ever anti-retroviral containing product.  So it really does open up a new world of learning,” he says.

Warren says when it comes to HIV/AIDS, people must be ready to be surprised.  He adds, “The greatest advances…have come about because people and institutions refused to accept conventional wisdom about what was possible.”

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More