Call to double AIDS vaccine funding
A charity dedicated to combating Aids has today claimed the spread of the disease can only be halted if global spending on a vaccine is doubled.
To mark World Aids Vaccine Day the National Aids Trust is urging the Government to lead the way by dramatically increasing its funding for the global Aids vaccine.
Despite large-scale prevention efforts throughout the world there were five million new HIV infections and three million deaths from Aids last year alone.
Charity chiefs today said new prevention technologies like an Aids vaccine are "clearly needed" to help bring an end to the pandemic.
However, the National Aids Trust claims current spending and commitment to develop a safe, effective and widely-available AIDS vaccine is insufficient.
There are currently 30 vaccine products in human trials throughout the world and between 2000 and 2005 public sector investment in Aids vaccine research more than doubled.
In 2005 the G8 committed to increase direct investment in Aids vaccine research and to establish market incentives to encourage greater engagement by private industry.
Despite continued pledges the National Aids Trust said much more needs to be done by public and private sectors to create a unified global response to the HIV epidemic.
The good cause adds only a handful of private companies are engaged in vaccine research and global spending is half what is needed.
Deborah Jack, chief executive of the National Aids Trust, said: "We cannot afford to delay in stepping up the search for an Aids vaccine.
"There have been great leaps forward in international commitment and funding but it is still not enough given the scale of HIV pandemic.
"The private sector also needs to do more to engage in Aids vaccine research."
The National Aids Trust is the UK's leading, independent policy and campaigning voice on HIV and Aids. It works to develop policies and campaign to halt the spread of HIV, and improve the quality of life of people affected by HIV, both in the UK and internationally.