World AIDS Day 2016- Turning the Tide Against HIV/AIDS
180 000 deaths later and countless prevention and treatment initiatives later, there is a glimmer of hope in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country.
As we commemorate World AIDS day today, we also celebrate the launch of the new vaccine trial known as HVTN 702.
The vaccine is now being tested in the country in a study that aims to enrol 5400 participants from across the province with particular focus on Gauteng and Kwa-ZuluNatal.
The National Institutes of Health, which is funding the research, says the study is the first in seven years to test the effectiveness of a vaccine against HIV.
The South African Medical Research Council is facilitating the study and says it has been vigorously monitoring HIV infection rates in the country.
The monitoring has been a necessity ahead of the approval of the new vaccine trial.
The trial is aimed at bringing down the number of new daily infections – which currently stand at over a thousand in South Africa.
Council President Dr Glenda Grey spoke at the launch of the vaccine trial in Soshanguve and said SA communities are still heavily burdened by HIV/ Aids.
S.A CONTINUES TO LEAD THE WAY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS
The South African government continues to lead the way in adopting international guidelines and developing best practices and evidence-based research when it comes to HIV/AIDS.This is contained in a PAPFAR report presented by a representative of the US embassy during the launch of the new vaccine trial known as HVTN 702 on Wednesday.
PEPFAR is the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief aimed at helping save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS around the world.
The US embassy has commended South Africa for its valuable contributions to HIV research.
Embassy official Jessy Lappen says the global response to HIV wouldn’t be possible without South Africa’s scientific contributions.
Lappen says South Africa has an amazing environment for epidemic control research.
These include world class universities, eager students, brilliant researchers and government support as well as support of international partners.
The US government has committed R70 billion for HIV programmes in South Africa alone since 2004.
Lappen says the US embassy will continue to work with South African government in this journey of hope.