Letter: Aids vaccine hope
Friday 27 November 1998
Sir: Jeremy Laurance ("Aids spreads on a Biblical scale", 25 November) states that "the prospect of an Aids vaccine remains a distant hope".
Over thirty million people around the world are living with HIV and Aids. Eight thousand five hundred people become infected every day and over 90 per cent of these cases are in developing countries.
It is time to give significantly more weight to HIV vaccine development. However, of all the money that is currently spent on HIV and Aids treatment, prevention and research, only 1 per cent is spent on Aids vaccine development.
Money is not going to come readily from commercial drug companies. Why should a company invest in a "one-shot" deal when it can develop drugs that people have to take every day for the rest of their lives? Unless the development of an HIV vaccine becomes an international priority, there will be no vaccine.
In a written parliamentary answer to me (3 November 1998) Clare Short said that the Government had given pounds 200,000 to the International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and pounds 300,000 of the Department for International Development's overall grant to the Medical Research Council went to support research into an HIV vaccine. A further pounds 300,000 is committed for 1998/9. Yet surely this is not enough.
In the past scientists have conquered other deadly diseases by a vaccine. According to Dr Seth Berkley, President of IAVI, we know more about HIV than any other virus.
An HIV vaccine should not be seen as a "distant hope" but with combined effort a workable reality.
Dr JENNY TONGE MP
Liberal Democrat International Development Spokesperson
House of Commons
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 3 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 4 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Laurie Lee's Rosie: What is it like to inspire a writer's work and be immortalised forever on the page?
Metal detectors object to digs by Mackenzie Crook about ‘dysfunctional’ hobby in BBC4's 'Detectorists'
Doctor Who series 8: Time Heist pictures revealed ahead of episode 5
The Walking Dead season 5 air date, trailer and season 4 recap
Star Wars 7 leaked set photo of Adam Driver changes everything
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter