Yesterday the hope of â€œa global AIDS vaccine in our lifetime” was pretty much shattered. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime commander of the USâ€™s wavering war on AIDS, delivered the last nail in the coffin of what had been a bold research and development effort by both Merck and the National Institutes of Health to develop a vaccine using a cold-virus carrier.
Fauci announced that he was canceling large-scale clinical trials for the NIHâ€™s version, which contained pieces of HIV strains from around the world in a beautiful attempt to offer equal protection to everyone. â€œWe’re not going away,” he said. “I don’t see this as chilling, but realistic.”
It’s surely a black Friday for all the researchers and advocates who have worked valiantly for more than a decade only to reach the end of the dream. The fear is that the money, minds, and muscle will now move on. And it surely will unless a new generation picks up the flag.
Read the Wall Street Journal’s veteran AIDS reporter Marilyn Chase’s piece here.