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why there is no vaccine for hiv

GENEVA, 18 May 2017
On the 20th HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, UNAIDS is calling for continued research to find a vaccine for HIV. Although there have been significant discoveries in the field of vaccine research and development, there is still no effective vaccine available against HIV. New HIV infections have remained stubbornly high for the past 10 years. Every year, 1. 9 million adults and more than 150 000 children become infected with the virus. Even if a 90% reduction in new HIV infections is achieved by 2030, there will still be around 200 000 new HIV infections annually, demonstrating how essential a vaccine will be for the long-term control of HIV. Despite our major successes in scaling up treatment and ongoing prevention programmes, there are still large numbers of people becoming infected with HIV every year, said Michel Sidib, Executive Director of UNAIDS. The biggest impacts in the eradication or control of infectious diseases in the history of public health have been achieved through vaccination, which is why a vaccine is an objective well worth continuing to invest in.


Successful antiretroviral therapy requires lifelong adherence, but adherence relies on behaviour change, which can be difficult to maintain. In contrast, an HIV vaccine is a one-time intervention that is extremely cost-effective compared with the cost of lifelong treatment. A simple-to-use vaccine would be a key tool in reaching the populations most affected by HIV. Models estimate that even a modestly effective vaccineone that is 50% effectivewould have a big impact on the epidemic and may be enough to significantly reduce new HIV infections among key populations. Industry is helping to take on the challenge of vaccine development. Vaccine candidates are in company pipelines, with some trials starting soon and others during the next few years. A large vaccine trial, HVTN 702, is in progress in South Africa, with results due in three years.


That trial, part of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, builds on the RV144 trial, which reported in 2009 and was conducted in Thailand, showing a 31% efficacy. This year, UNAIDS is hosting an art installation on the power of vaccines, reflecting the importance of linking art, advocacy and science. The exhibition, entitled Immune Nations, opens on 23 May and runs until 30 June 2017. UNAIDS The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizationsUNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bankand works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at and connect with us on, and. Fact: HIV-negative people who are at risk can take antiretroviral medication daily to lower their chances of becoming infected if they are exposed to the virus.


The pill Truvada has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use by people who are sexually active with multiple partners, for people who do not use condoms or do not use them all the time, and for people who have an HIV-positive partner or partners whose HIV status is unknown. PrEP is unlikely to be an option for everyone because the pills are expensive, may cause side effects, and may not be accessible. Remembering to take a pill every day is also challenging for some people. PrEP is an important new addition to the existing methods of HIV prevention, however, the most effective way to eliminate a disease is by using an effective vaccine. Vaccines are an effective, affordable and practical option. Until we have an effective vaccine, the HVTN supports the use of all available HIV prevention tools and encourages people to learn about their prevention options.

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