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Future HIV vaccines: If we build it, will they come?
Date:7/14/2010

TORONTO, ON On the eve of the world's biggest AIDS conference this month in Austria, a new research review shows many people wouldn't get inoculated against HIV even if a vaccine was developed.

The authoritative review published in this month's edition of the journal AIDS was led by Peter A. Newman, associate professor at the University of Toronto's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. Newman and PhD candidate Carmen Logie drew conclusions from 30 previous research papers involving nearly 12,000 people on the topic of HIV vaccine acceptability.

"One might assume that if an HIV vaccine was available, many people would line up to be vaccinated. However, the research strongly indicates this is not the case," says Newman, Canada Research Chair in Health and Social Justice. "The availability of a vaccine alone is not enough to ensure that people will be inoculated."

Newman and Logie's meta-analysis of existing literature identified several factors that could influence people's willingness to be inoculated with an HIV vaccine. Among them:

  • The effectiveness of a vaccine: The research showed people would be far less likely to take an HIV vaccine if it was only 50 per cent effective in protecting against HIV infection:
    • If a vaccine was 50 per cent effective in protecting against HIV, only 40 per cent of people said they would accept it
    • If a vaccine was 100 per cent effective, 74 per cent of people said they would accept it

  • Risk perception: The research showed many people do not see themselves as being "at risk" of contracting the disease even if they are and so would not consider being inoculated against HIV.

  • Structural factors: The research showed that factors such as cost and access to vaccines would prevent some people from seeking inoculation.

Additional but less influential factors included fear of side effects and fear of vaccines.

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Contact: April Kemick
april.kemick@utoronto.ca
416-978-5949
University of Toronto
Source:Eurekalert

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