New Delhi: A new modeling paper has revealed that adding a vaccine to the comprehensive HIV/AIDS response is essential to conclusively end the epidemic.
Focused on the low and middle-income countries (LMICs) across Africa and Asia that are home to the vast majority of the world’s people living with HIV/AIDS, the study shows that adding a vaccine could dramatically reduce new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths even if other treatment and prevention tools are extensively scaled up.
The research also demonstrates that an AIDS vaccine would be impactful and cost-effective across a wide range of product characteristics. Higher efficacy, longer-lasting protection, fewer doses, lower vaccine costs and a more effective rollout will increase both health impact and cost-effectiveness.
India Country Director at International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Dr. Rajat Goyal, said this study reaffirms how a safe vaccine could be instrumental in reducing the number of new infections and save millions of lives. This would significantly reduce the treatment costs and even reduce total response costs over time.
Dr. Goyal added it is clear that they must continue to expedite development of an effective HIV vaccine alongside critical efforts to accelerate and sustain broad and equitable access to effective antiretroviral therapy and new approaches for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Mitchell Warren, Executive Director, AVAC, said that adding a vaccine to a comprehensive HIV/AIDS response will hasten the end of the global epidemic and ensure that it won’t rebound.
He added a safe, effective and affordable AIDS vaccine is an essential complement to the existing treatment and prevention options and this study highlights why accelerated investments are needed for both implementation.