Global Vaccination Efforts to Battle AIDS
David Ho is the Scientific Director & CEO of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. Ho’s laboratory has focused on the pathogenesis of HIV infection. Most recently, his group has made substantial strides in the development of vaccines for HIV, as well as in the development of innovative prevention strategies. Ho also serves as head of the China AIDS Initiative, an alliance of Chinese and international organizations dedicated to helping China accelerate its response to HIV/AIDS.
David Ho: I think the HIV AIDS epidemic will still be with us. There are already thirty some million people living with HIV and the virus is still spreading at several million per year. So even several decades from now I suspect the virus will still be with us and plaguing humanity. I think, of course, science will have progressed a great deal. We would know a lot more about this virus than we do today. We already know a lot more about HIV than we do for many other viruses, but I think the science is going to progress tremendously. I think that therapy will be much more effective than today and I could see that therapy requiring only, say, one injection per month or one injection every few months, so therapy will be improved and will be simpler and have fewer side effects. In terms of vaccine I think given that kind of protracted timeline I think a vaccine would be developed by then. And hopefully by then we’re talking about global vaccination efforts so that we could prevent the entire world population from contracting HIV, but I doubt if we would have done it in terms of eradicating HIV.
Recorded April 20th, 2010
Interviewed by Jessica Liebman
The HIV/AIDS epidemic will still be with us in 40 years. But we will know a lot more about the virus than we do today—and therapy will be much more effective.
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