Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hopes high for HIV vaccine

Less than two out of five people who need treatment for HIV in the United States are receiving it, underscoring the tremendous sociological complexities surrounding HIV/AIDS, and the importance of finding a vaccine.

The Emory Center for AIDS Research
recently served as the Atlanta host for the AIDS Vaccine 2010 conference, where scientists from around the world discussed promising research. (See video, above.)

The socioeconomic issues associated with poverty increase the risk for HIV infection and affect the health of people living with HIV. By race/ethnicity, African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV in the United States. At the end of 2007, blacks accounted for almost half of people living with a diagnosis of HIV infection, according to the CDC.

In Africa, an estimated 23 million people are HIV positive, yet only 3 million are receiving anti-retroviral treatment.

Along with efforts to find a vaccine, Africa needs cost-effective social strategies, such as Couples Voluntary Counseling and Testing (CVCT), said Emory vaccine researcher Susan Allen. “The majority of new HIV infections in Africa are acquired from a spouse, and couples are the largest HIV risk group,” she said. “CVCT is an economical, sustainable and proven model for reducing the rate of HIV/AIDS in Africa.”

For more news from AIDS Vaccine 2010, visit Emory Health Now.

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