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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid