Government Asked To Support Search For HIV Vaccine

medications see geneva;”>The search in Uganda was flagged off in 1999 by the Joint Clinical Research Center and now the core activities are being spearheaded by Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe with various branches nationwide.

Other organizations like Makerere University Walter Reed Project have joined in the search with funding mainly from donor countries.

With close to 2 million Ugandans currently infected with HIV, an array of intervention programs have been introduced which include, ABC (Abstinence Faithfulness and Condom use), ARVS and circumcision; yet the prevalence has only continued to shoot up from 2.5 to 3.6 percent since 2004.

Nonetheless, according to MUWR project Executive Director, Mrs Anna Kibuuka, various research findings have proved that an HIV vaccine could be introduced and added to these interventions, the prevalence would drastically be contained.

She however noted that coming up with such a vaccine is becoming more expensive and demanding hence extra hands are needed.

“This virus is slow-killing and extremely tricky. It generates a complex genetic defense system once inside the human cell, making it complex and painstaking to track down and control,” she said.

Mrs Kibuuka further called upon government not to just stop at providing a good environment for research, but also in form of monetary backing.

The closest this research has drawn to success was in 2009 when a vaccine called RV144 was incepted and tested 31 percent efficacy ability to control the virus spread.

She also urged civil society organizations and member of the public in general to be part of the initiative as volunteers, noting that the vaccine being tested are entirely harmless and cannot infect the person in whom its being tested with the virus.

“We also guarantee other benefits to our volunteers like free diagnoses of any other infections as well as treatment and further referrals in cases of more complexities,” she said.

Presidential advisor on HIV/AIDS, Mr. Jesse Kagimba on the other hand cautioned the public on being protective even when the vaccine has been developed, since the cure to HIV/IADS itself is yet to be found.

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