May 18, 2016
National HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is observed annually on May 18 to mark the progress made in developing an effective HIV vaccine, to acknowledge those who have contributed to vaccine research and to educate communities about the importance of this research.
“The road to finding a vaccine for HIV has certainly been a long and arduous one,” Rowena Johnston, PhD, vice president and director of research at amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, told Infectious Disease News. “It began in the earliest days of HIV research in the 1980s as soon as they discovered the cause of AIDS as HIV. Some people thought that at least having identified the virus would help in terms of developing a vaccine. It turns out that HIV is so exquisitely adapted for the human body that so many of the things we try against the virus just don’t work.”