Today, May 18, is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, raising awareness of the years of research that has gone into finding a reliable way to protect individuals from the virus.
Research began soon after the virus was recognized as the cause of AIDS, with the first vaccine trial being conducted in 1987. Although numerous clinical trials have been conducted, some with breakthrough results, it is not There is currently no vaccine capable of effectively protecting all individuals.
Although there are people around the world who are infected with HIV, those living in sub-Saharan Africa have the highest rates, with Eswatini, Lesotho and Botswana being the three countries where the prevalence of the virus is the highest, almost systematically, between 2000 and 2020.
Without a reliable vaccine available, the main objective of the fight against HIV must be to reduce the risk of transmission by providing assistance and resources to countries that are struggling to access it.
“What we really need to focus on is developing reliable prevention measures and services. By helping more people access vaccines and other forms of prevention such as contraception, we can tackle the problem at the root and effectively help those affected by life-threatening diseases,” said Shameet Thakkar, Founder and CEO of Unimed, a healthcare procurement service. organization.
“What many don’t realize is that there is a lot to be done to deliver vaccines to populations or groups of individuals. There is a whole supply chain at the forefront of vaccination operations, which needs to deliver the right equipment at the right time to be effective,” he added.
Vaccines therefore play a fundamental role in prevention, but vaccine projects require much more than syringes and the vaccines themselves.
Using the right gear can have a life-changing impact. A key example is auto-disable syringes, which play a vital role in prevention as they are designed to lock automatically after each use, meaning they cannot be reused.
Low dead volume syringes can also reduce the risk of spreading viruses like HIV because less dead volume means there is less space to leave potentially contaminated blood in the syringe.
In order to be ready to provide imminent aid to individuals around the world in times of need, it is essential to stay ahead of the changing needs within the healthcare industry.
While there is a long way to go for medical researchers when it comes to developing a vaccine, HIV Vaccine Awareness Day should be dedicated to recognizing the journey from vaccine development to present and clinical trials that strive to achieve this goal.