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HIV Vaccine Progress

 
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Vaccination options have already generated a great deal of controversy, as documented in Dr. Paul A. Offit's book “Deadly Choices: How the Anti-vaccine Movement Threatens Us All”. The debate may grow more heated if current researchers succeed in producing a vaccine against HIV. Would you want the vaccine for yourself? What about your children? Do you think vaccinated individuals may engage in less cautious behavior, increasing their risk of other sexually transmitted diseases or infections from illegal drug use? What about teen pregnancy? And what costs would be justified to prevent the epidemic of AIDS orphans in less developed countries?

All vaccines offer protection for most of the individuals vaccinated, but none offers 100 percent protection. Thus, the development of an HIV vaccine raises ethical questions. How do we deal with a vaccine that offers partial protection for a deadly disease? Can we educate people to get the vaccine and avoid exposure to the virus?

Antibiotics and sanitation have made great progress in reducing epidemics of bacterial disease, but viruses are a much bigger challenge. The best anti-viral drugs offer only treatment for AIDS, not a cure. The same is true for influenza and other viral infections. I have not seen any lines of research that offer much promise for killing viruses without the help of the immune system.

Vaccines offer the best hope of eradicating viral diseases. The World Health Assembly declared our planet free of smallpox disease in 1980, after a 10-year program of vaccination. The next year, the United States Centers for Disease Control formed a Task Force on Kaposi's Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections, in response to the first recognized cases of AIDS (which received its name in 1982). Today, after 30 years of research, we are still looking for an effective vaccine against HIV/AIDS. Recent articles in the medical literature report continued progress. Researchers at Duke University, North Carolina, reported that a “clinically useful” HIV vaccine is indeed possible based on current technology. The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, based in New York, echoed this optimism.

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May 8, 2014 - 10:33pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

"How do we deal with a vaccine that offers partial protection for a deadly disease? Can we educate people to get the vaccine and avoid exposure to the virus?"
Those are NOT questions of ethics. They are questions of logistics and information dissemination.

The only questions asked that had anything to do with ethics were easily answered and only an imbecile would consider them remotely important.

"Would you want the vaccine for yourself? What about your children?"
I can see how someone with a fear of needles would not want to get the vaccine however I don't see how someone could justify not vaccinating their child from a deadly disease. Not doing so on any grounds would be like strapping a bomb to your child's chest and hoping it won't go off.

"Do you think vaccinated individuals may engage in less cautious behavior, increasing their risk of other sexually transmitted diseases or infections from illegal drug use?"
If someone says yes to this question and thinks it grounds to oppose a vaccine in any way they might as well make a case for killing people who get caught who have sexually transmitted diseases or use drugs.

"What about teen pregnancy?"
And it's not a problem now? The only way to effectively reduce teen pregnancy is with proper sex education programs and the abandonment of abstinence only programs and giving access of contraceptives to young people. This has been demonstrated too many times to count.

And what costs would be justified to prevent the epidemic of AIDS orphans in less developed countries?"
Again, not making an effort with everything we have would be like arguing for genocide.

March 26, 2011 - 6:19pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

it is more informative for hiv positive individuals

March 7, 2011 - 12:36am
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