According to a recent United Nations study, HIV infection rates among high-risk groups such as gays, drug users and sex workers are on the rise around the world.
U.N. AIDS agency chief Michel Sidibe is saying the increase may be due to worsening discrimination against these groups in certain countries. In the U.S., despite laws that are more tolerant of homosexuality, more than half of all new HIV infections in 2009 occurred among gay men, which Sidibe called "shocking." In the U.S., Sidibe said, "it seems like we have come full circle," and not in a good way.
Contrary to what many perceive, HIV is not going away. These increases in HIV rates nationally and globally demand a renewed focus on how the international community can battle this pandemic.
Mark J. Newman, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Development at GeoVax Labs, Inc., a biotechnology company focusing on developing vaccines to protect against or to treat diseases caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), believes now is a better time than ever to begin reassessing the importance not only of a preventative vaccine to address the high-risk population, but also of a therapeutic vaccine to keep those with active HIV from progressing to full-blown AIDS.
Dr. Newman is available to discuss:
Can vaccines curb the rising numbers of HIV cases?
What are the challenges of bringing a vaccine for HIV to market?
What has stalled progress and what does the future hold?
How is science harnessing the power of the immune system to fight HIV?