World AIDS vaccine day commonly known as HIV Vaccine awareness day is commemorated on the 18th of May every year. This day is observed across the globe marking it as the day to promote vaccination in order to prevent AIDS and HIV virus.
The HIV Vaccine awareness day is observed to acknowledge countless health professionals, supporters, volunteers, scientists, and the community members who fought so long and worked together to make this world a safer place by coming up with an AIDS vaccine to cure the infection or at least elongate the life expectancy of the patient.
HIV vaccine awareness day is also commemorated to thank the world and especially the scientists for putting in efforts to invent vaccines and experiment with new technologies to reduce a comprehensive vaccine that was successful against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
What is HIV or AIDS?
HIV is an abbreviation of human immunodeficiency virus. It is a virus that attacks the human body’s immune system severely. The severity can also cause the death of the person if not treated timely. If this virus is not treated timely and spread across the body it will lead to a fatal disease known as AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.) Sadly, there is no medical cure for AIDS and the patient eventually dies but thanks to the latest technology and efforts of scientists there is a ray of hope for people who acquire HIV that they can live a prolonged life.
If a person acquires HIV, thanks to the vaccines they can live a long life and control the HIV infection from spreading further in the body. HIV is usually caused by a virus that mainly spreads through sexual contact, sharing of needles or blood, getting a transfusion of infected blood, or illicit injection spread, it is transferred to a child from a mother during pregnancy or if an infected mother breastfeeds her child.
HIV mainly destroys the CD4 T cells commonly known as white blood cells which are known to fight against any kind of foreign body that attacks the human body.
Stages of HIV
There are four stages of the HIV virus. The last stage is what leads to AIDS which eventually leads to the death of the patient.
The earlier stages are curable as the vaccines slow down the process of decaying the cells.
The four stages are:
- Seroconversion illness: The first symptom where the patient will experience short illness as soon as they contract HIV infection.
- Asymptomatic stage: This is the stage after seroconversion. No symptoms are faced by the person. In fact, if the patient has neglected the seroconversion stage, then this asymptomatic stage will go unnoticed and the patient will not even know that he has acquired HIV.
- Symptomatic HIV: This is the stage where the symptoms of the HIV virus start to appear in the human body.
- Late-stage or AIDS: The last stage when no cure is available for the patient. The death is painful and the person will not be able to recover from this last stage of the HIV virus.
How did the commemoration start?
The world AIDS vaccine day was first announced on 18th May 1997 at Morgan State University. The commemoration began with a speech by then-president of the United States of America Bill Clinton.
President Bill Clinton set new goals to eradicate the world from the harrowing shadows of the HIV virus by testing and experimenting with technology and science to develop an effective AIDS vaccine.
He also announced plans to have a vaccine developed within the next decade stating his very famous words “only a truly effective, preventive HIV vaccine can limit and eventually eliminate the threat of AIDS.”
The first official HIV Vaccine awareness day was observed across the globe on 18th May 1998 in order to commemorate the historic speech of Bill Clinton and the tradition continues even today.
Every year different countries and communities across the world come together to mark the solidarity against fighting this deadly disease. The communities hold activities on world AIDS vaccine day in order to raise awareness about the vaccine, the prevention and safety measures as well as bring the attention of common people towards this raging epidemic which at that time was still in its infancy stage. Ordinary people needed to make an effort in order to stem and stop this epidemic from becoming a pandemic.
HIV vaccine awareness day 2022
This year the agenda of HIV vaccine awareness day is to concentrate on the four Ps which are platforms, pipelines, processes, and progress.
The healthcare industry across the world has been facing challenges in the form of new diseases and viruses, more specifically the deadly coronavirus which overwhelmed the healthcare system across the world and made the doctors, and physicians suffer and use their strengths to the maximum.
The healthcare field celebrated extraordinary success in the form of the development of Covid-19 vaccines which were basically created on the basis of the HIV vaccine. The scientific knowledge and deep study and network used all these years made it easier for the pharmaceutical companies and scientists to come up with a vaccine with all the commitment, coordination, and innovation that helped in accelerated research.
No doubt, the vaccine for Covid-19 was developed at an amazing speed. The pandemic exposed all the stigmas and taboos attached to the vaccine and the vaccine was administered across the world at a scale not imagined before.
Even though the Covid vaccine was mishandled just like the HIV vaccine but in the end, it did help in combating the deadly virus which had transformed into a pandemic halting the whole world for over two years
The Covid-19 pandemic and the vaccine administration taught a lesson that the world if united, can do better against HIV infection as well. The scientific advancements are here along with the vaccination and the security measures. The world needs to work together and not treat the AIS patients like someone untouchable.
The HIV vaccines are also being adapted and changed according to the mutation of the virus. There are newer and faster models available which are adapted according to the new variable but the new models are delivering new and better results against the mutated virus.
Platforms and pipelines
HIV vaccine platforms and pipelines are a new approach derived to work on HIV vaccine research. Covid-19 has dragged the world into a new “golden age” of research in the vaccine industry which had previously proved to be a stagnant field for HIV vaccine development.
Processes for the HIV biomedical research
HIV biomedical research has evolved a lot in recent years. The evolution has been remarkable compared to any time in history. New platforms were introduced related to the bioengineering fields which had products and vaccines that cure new diseases and also treated various new mutated viruses successfully and prevented them as well.
Processes for HIV biomedical research have been stuck for a while. The new trials were not taken seriously and everything seemed stagnant and was considered a disease, not for the masses.
This year the agenda is to look upon new approaches that will investigate these stagnant researches in the biomedical field related to HIV vaccination. Research such as the experimental medicine vaccine trials (EMVTs).
These new approaches are still facing legal, commercial, and regulatory banishment and the frameworks are still not designed to let them pass through as the pipeline work is still stuck. There is no certainty of the release of new vaccines across the globe. The speed is slow and they are not available with ease. The engagement model amongst the masses still needs to be tactical, especially with Generation Z.
There is little or no awareness about this deadly disease among the younger generation and this is one of the main challenges faced by the HIV awareness community.
The world still needs to maximize its reach to the masses and the younger generation is that AIDS doesn’t make a comeback in the 21st century and the HIV vaccination process is spread across the world smoothly and with ease.
Process and progress of HIV vaccine
The efforts, endless and diligent work of thousands of volunteers, advocates, researchers, and many others across the world will not go unnoticed. The world needs to learn about this deadly disease and a cure needs to be spread in abundance so that it should not make a comeback.
There is a need to develop an understanding across the masses and HIV vaccines should be mandatory where there is a risk in the community so that nobody dies a painful death at the hands of AIDS.
As per the current state of the HIV vaccine and the spread of the newly mutated HIV virus, HIV needs to be prevented on a broader landscape. HIV vaccines are developed now and are in their trial phase. It is important to spread it in the communities worse affected by AIDS so that the knowledge of the scientists does not go wasted.
HIV vaccine awareness day is observed with remarkable zeal and zest everywhere. This year the agenda is more profound as the vaccination industry has got a new hope of spreading the HIV vaccines in communities where the spread is at large after the success of the Covid-19 vaccine administration across the globe.
It is important to understand that the vaccine is very important to prevent and cure HIV at the early stage to elongate the life of the patients else it will be fatal like in the past and might emerge as an epidemic again if not taken seriously.