Photo: Getty Images
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, but you can’t rush out and get inoculated from HIV in celebration. There currently is no vaccine to prevent contracting HIV.
HIV Vaccine Awareness day is designed to bring awareness to the need for a vaccine. While recent developments and increased use of anti-retroviral therapy, which can be costly and cause side effects, can slow the development of HIV into AIDS, a vaccine could potentially prevent millions of people from getting HIV in the first place.
A vaccine works by teaching the immune system to develop antibodies to fight a specific virus such as HIV. The HIV vaccine would not contain HIV. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in new cases of HIV reported, one in four are women. HIV predominantly is contracted through sexual activity with HIV-infected men.
To raise awareness in your area, let others know you support HIV vaccine research, educate others about the need for a cost-effective vaccine, and get involved by joining HIV vaccine research clinical trials or getting on a community advisory board.
Do you have a question about HIV or AIDS? Check out EmpowHER’s pages. Sign-up, post a question, share your story, connect with other women in our groups and community, and feel EmpowHERed!
Christine Jeffries is a writer/editor for work and at heart, and lives in a home of testosterone with her husband and two sons. Christine is interested in women’s health and promoting strong women.
Article edited by Alison Stanton