BY: Tian Johnson –
It took less than a year for researchers to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. The search for an HIV vaccine became almost 40 years ago.
The unprecedented pace I wish the COVID-19 jobs were developed and the scientific breakthroughs they required have re-energized those efforts to develop an HIV vaccine. But they’ve also raised critical questions about what could have been if the search for an HIV vaccine had met with the same resources and political will as the coronavirus pandemic.
Consider that between 2000- and 2019, $15.3bn was spent on the research and development of HIV vaccines, according to the Resource Tracking for HIV Research and Development Working Group. According to an analysis by Devex, by August 2020, less than a year into the pandemic, within $39.5bn was slated for spending on COVID-19 vaccine research and distribution.
As the world marks HIV Vaccine Awareness Day today, it is a chance both to recognize the possibilities that the search for COVID-19 vaccines have created and to demand that those opportunities be seized for HIV vaccine research