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Tag Archives: Education

The Search for an HIV Vaccine: Why does it take so long?

This presentation was given as part of a community education event organised by AVAC, NAM and AHPN following a proposal by Bisi Alimi. The event introduced vaccines, current state of the research and the difficulties to develop an efficient HIV vaccine. The purpose of the presentation below was to go beyond the science and put vaccine development in the broader context of product manufacturing and legal and regulatory frameworks.

Clinical Research and Communities – Conflicting Needs?

The conduct of clinical research often conflicts with community life even if it is done for the benefit of the public. This can be explained by differences in perception, understanding and respective knowledge of each other’s interests and needs. This slide was designed to support discussions around the issues raised by the need to conduct clinical research in communities which often struggle to undertsand the research and how they can impact on what is being done. It can also be used by communities who want to engage with researchers to facilitate the conduct of mutually beneficial clinical research.

ARV for HIV prevention, an overview

Despite the interesting results of an HIV vaccine trial in Thailand (RV144), HIV prevention is still limited to a small number of options many of which are not bullet-proof. Biomedical interventions based on vaccines and microbicides are still a long shot away. Conversely, treatment is working well in bringing HIV-infected people back to a normal life and potentially reducing the risk of HIV transmission by reducing their viral load. The use of antiretroviral drugs as a means to prevent HIV infection is controversial and a lot of background work will be required before embarking on massive “Test and Treat” campaigns.

PrEP, An Overview

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an experimental HIV-prevention strategy that proposes using antiretrovirals (ARVs) to reduce the risk of HIV infection in healthy uninfected people at risk of acquiring the virus. PrEP is not proven to work and is currently being tested in HIV-negative people in several clinical trials across the world. It is a controversial strategy that raises many hopes but also many questions (Updated May 1, 2010).

For further information check the PrEPWatch Website.

Barriers to condom use

Barriers to condom useTo use or not to use a condom for sexual intercourse is the result of a combination of several interacting factors. From the rational decision to choose not to use condoms to that of not being able to choose to use them, there is a broad range of possible accounts.

Addressing poor condom use therefore is not a question of simply promoting them but a question of knowing and understanding these numerous factors, their interactions and additive effects and ultimately understanding what leads people to do what they do or can do in their individual situation with their own perspectives, understanding, resources and options.

Biological Factors Affecting HIV Infection

Conditions Affecting HIV Transmission v2Several factors are important in determining if the HIV virus can be passed from an infected person to another one. These include biological and social factors which both relate to the exposed and the “infector” individuals.

This conceptual framework summarises only the biological factors that influence HIV transmission. When assessing the risk of infection, each should be considered in turn and as a whole.

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HIV Prevention, an Overview

HIV PreventionHIV prevention goes far beyond the simplistic ABC message that hijacks most of the media attention. This figure tries to illustrate the breadth and diversity of the field of HIV prevention (Click to enlarge). It would still need to be further expanded to really cover all the aspects of an ever growing field.

Challenges facing the UK Research Base

The academic year 2007 started with a “Time Bomb” uncovered by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI): student in England are having it the easy way with an average of 26 hours a week spent studying compared to 30 in Ireland, 35 in France and 41 in Portugal. Variations are wide depending on the subject but with less than 15 hours of tuition a week, fears and concerns are raised that Higher Education is going down the drain and will have serious academic consequences for the future of Science in the UK. Read more »