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
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
Art Garfunkel calls Paul Simon a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex
Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
Dheepan, film review: Palme d'Or prize goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Game of Thrones, The Gift, Season 5, Episode 7: Why two of the show’s most iconic characters just met
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland