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HIV Prevention Must Remain Priority To Avoid ‘Rebound Effects’ From Introduction Of Potential Vaccine

Project Syndicate: Vaccinating Against an HIV Rebound
Christine Stegling, executive director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance

“…[Even if a successful vaccine is developed], many complex social, economic, and cultural issues will continue to complicate the war on HIV. We must think carefully about how to introduce a vaccine without unintentionally encouraging ‘rebound effects,’ like the re-emergence of practices that expose people to HIV infection. While an HIV vaccine would no doubt be a game changer, it would be only one of a diverse range of tools needed to contain one of mankind’s deadliest pandemics. For a vaccine to have the greatest impact, we must continue to promote other forms of prevention — such as condom use, medical male circumcision, and use of pre-exposure prophylactics for at-risk populations. … With scientists optimistic that a vaccine is forthcoming, there is no better time to ensure that traditional transmission interventions remain a priority for policymakers, politicians, and donors…” (7/23).