Well, I have news for Canadians, there were 58 thousand people living with Aids in 2005, and approximately 21 thousand people in total who died with an HIV/AIDS infection... the next report, with up to date figures is expected in 2009. I realize these number must seem small in comparison to world figures...35 million people worldwide living with Aids, an estimated 25 million have already died since 1981 ..but...every number is or was a person, each and everyone is important.
Today is the 20th anniversary of World Aids Day...the theme is Leadership, with emphasis on perseverance and commitment in fighting Aids... the campaign slogan is "Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise."
Here is something interesting...
The Canadian government is committed to fighting Aids... in February of 2007 there was a five year collaborative effort agreed upon with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (up to $28 million contribution) in which the Canadian government is contributing up to $111 million, for the construction of a facility in Canada to manufacture HIV vaccines to be used for clinical trials. This collaborative effort ends in 2012...after which time an evaluation will take place...who knows what will happen then??
A vaccine would be wonderful...but these things take time, and money...this is one area which I am happy to see my tax dollars go towards! Researchers have come a long way in giving those living with HIV/AIDs a longer more comfortable life...but there is no cure!!!
A vaccine, produced at Western University in London, Ontario, has reached the stage where it will be tested on animals to see if it is safe to be used on humans, results should be available in 3 months. Watch for the results of this testing in the early part of 2009.
According to the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, more than 30 clinical trials of experimental HIV vaccines were underway in 2007. The trials are taking place in over 20 countries around the world, including Canada.
- The vast majority of trials are in Phase I. These trials typically involve fewer than 100 volunteers and are used to determine the safety of the candidate vaccine.
- Two test-of-concept trials (Phase IIb trials) have been halted because the vaccine did not indicate that it could prevent HIV infection or that it could affect the course of the disease in those who became infected.
- Only one of these trials, involving 16,000 people in Thailand, had advanced to Phase III, the final stage before obtaining regulatory approval for an experimental product. Phase III trials can take several years and involve thousands of volunteers from high-risk populations.
For an up-to-date listing of trials around the world, visit the AIDS Vaccine Clearinghouse website at http://www.aidsvaccineclearinghouse.org"
Quote courtesy of Canadian HIV/AIDS Vaccine Initiative, http://www.chvi-icvv.gc.ca/faq-eng.html#Q1The Canadian government is contributing towards the fight against Aids, as are other countries. For those directly affected I'm sure it doesn't seem like results are happening fast enough, I'm know I would feel the same way...life is precious but so very short...there just isn't enough time!!
This is a virus that effects each and everyone of us whether we want to admit it or not...think about it... there are people alive who don't know a time when Aids wasn't prevalent...I remember and I know our world was changed forever!!!
Lets "Keep the Promise, Stop Aids..."
Information courtesy of:
Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative, http://www.chvi-icvv.gc.ca/index-eng.html
CATIE, Canadian Aids Treatment Information Exchange, http://www.catie.ca/eng/LivingWithHIV/worldaidsday2008.shtml