HIV Virus Could be Cured By 2021

Aiden Trudeau, Staff Writer

Ever since the HIV virus spread significantly in the 1980s, citizens across the globe have been waiting patiently for an effective and low-risk vaccine. After thirty long years of research, scientists believe they have found a potential HIV vaccine that is expected to be available to patients in about two years. Considering it was only in 1984 when scientists identified HIV to be the cause of AIDS, they have come a long way in their research of the virus. 

According to Forbes, the first convincing clinical trials for a vaccine were held in South Africa throughout 2016. South Africa itself, according to UNAIDS, has at least 7,700,000 citizens living with HIV. Based off this pessimistic data, scientists working for The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have taken full responsibility in leading these trials. Over 5000 HIV-negative adults have already enrolled in the study and will be followed over the course of about 24 months while scientists study how the participants’ bodies react to their vaccine injections. 

After speaking with a few students at La Jolla, most of them tend to reach a consensus on the topic. Sophomore Max Lagrange said, “I believe if we find a cure for HIV, people will begin to use less protection [during sex] because the fear of the virus will be in decline. Overall, the community [of sexually active citizens] will feel safer.” 

HIV is a tough virus to create a cure for, but year by year scientists are coming closer to bringing us the vaccine. One trial, which ended in 2009, took place in Thailand, consisting of a total of around 16,000 participants. The results were groundbreaking, concluding the vaccine to reduce HIV infections by 30%. Still, scientists believed more research must be done before considering this vaccine to be the safest option to release to the public.

Senior Devin Garcia spoke on the possibility of having the HIV vaccine by 2021, “It’ll help people living with the virus feel more welcome in society and eventually terminate the virus for good.” With more studies being held on HIV and other diseases every year, society is coming closer to becoming STD free.