World AIDS Vaccine Day: Myths and facts about the AIDS vaccine you should know! | Photo Credit: Getty Images
New Delhi: World AIDS Vaccine Day or HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is celebrated on the 18th of May. It marks the need for awareness about AIDS and vaccines, and the need for prevention of the deadly disease, AIDS. It is also a day to thank volunteers, researchers, scientists, community member, health professionals and everyone else who is working to eradicate the disease and find ways for safe and effective HIV vaccines.
According to UNAIDS, there were approximately 36.9 million people affected by ADIS in 2017, all over the world. These numbers speak for the importance of awareness about AIDS and its preventive measures. However, very few people are actually aware of what AIDS is, its symptoms, causes, risk factors and prevention. It also becomes difficult for people to differentiate between myths and facts, especially when it comes to diseases like AIDS that people are mostly ignorant about. Here are a few myths and facts about AIDS vaccine for you to understand it better.
There is a vaccine for HIV.
Currently, there exists no vaccine for HIV that will be able to prevent HIV or treat someone who gets infected. However, research is going on to develop one. Following a study conducted in 2016, which reported found a vaccine that could prevent an HIV infection, an NIH-supported clinical trial was launched to test a modified HIV vaccine. This vaccine trial, according to Hiv.org, is testing if an experimental vaccine regimen safely prevent HIV infection among South African adults. This vaccine trial is called HVTN 702.
The world does not need an HIV Vaccine.
In 2015 alone, more than 2.1 million people became affected with HIV. By 2017, more than 36 million people were living with AIDS. Though with the advent of medical treatment and care, people with HIV are getting better health care facilities and are able to live a better and longer life, an HIV vaccine would ensure that no new people are affected with the virus. Though healthcare facilities are available now, they are expensive and not affordable for all. A vaccine also ensures that there is an economical and effective way to prevent a deadly disease.
HIV vaccines will not infect you with HIV virus.
HIV vaccine developed from the study will not give you HIV. These vaccines do not contain real HIV. Vaccines for diseases like typhoid or polio contain a weak form of the virus they are protecting against, because of which people have believed that it is the same case with HIV. Scientists make HIV vaccines look like HIV when in reality it does not contain any virus. In the past 25 years, more than 30,000 people have taken part in HIV vaccine studies worldwide, but no one has been infected with the virus due to the vaccine.
Vaccines are unsafe and cause autism.
A British doctor had reported a link between vaccination and autism and later falsified his own claims and data. He was also stripped of his license to practice medicine. Later, more studies revealed that there is no link between autism and vaccine. Though there may be some side effects of vaccines, they are mostly short-lived and include a sore arm, low fever, muscle ache, etc.