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AIDS Action Observes HIV Vaccine Awareness Day: Reason to Hope
Date:5/18/2009

WASHINGTON, May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Every nine and a half minutes someone in the United States is infected with HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 56,300 individuals became infected with HIV in 2006 alone. There are over 1.1 million people living with the virus in the United States. It is a disease that impacts minority and poor communities disproportionately: African-Americans are seven times more likely to contract HIV, while the rate of infection among Hispanics is three times that of whites. Amidst this tragic reality, the ongoing search for an HIV vaccine gives us reason to hope. The HIV vaccine research field continues to advance, and 2009 marks a year of promise. Today, on May 18th, HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, AIDS Action urges everyone to help end the AIDS epidemic by supporting HIV vaccine research. We also thank the numerous volunteers, community educators, scientists and advocates for their efforts to support HIV vaccine research.

The best long term hope for controlling the AIDS epidemic here and abroad is the development of safe, effective and affordable HIV vaccines. Historically, vaccines have been the most powerful weapon against diseases like polio, measles and Hepatitis B. In fact, no major viral epidemic has been defeated without one. HIV vaccine research is part of a robust HIV prevention research agenda, and integral to a sustainable comprehensive response to the epidemic.

While researchers have not yet found a vaccine, there are reasons to be hopeful. Several large scale efficacy trials in humans have already been completed. While their results did not yield an effective vaccine, they prompted innovative researchers to focus on basic science, leading to greater insight into human immunology. Using the lessons of the past, scientists are currently designing better clinical trials. And, there are promising candidates in the HIV vaccine pipeline. R
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SOURCE AIDS Action
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