The Ministry of Health has convened a meeting to discuss development of the first-ever AIDS vaccine.
Public Health Minister Pradit Sinthawanarong, along with Kristie Kenney, the current United States Ambassador to Thailand, and William Snow, the Director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, launched a conference on an AIDS vaccine. The conference was aimed at raising awareness of the project testing AIDS vaccines in three phases, generally known as the RV144 project, which developed the World’s first AIDS vaccine.
According to Dr. Pradit, Thailand has been successful in controlling the spread of HIV by using preventative methods, such as the ‘100% Condoms Project’. The project has effectively reduced the number of infections to 10,000 per year.
Additionally, the development of a vaccine to prevent infection is a new hope. Thailand, in co-operation with the USA and the World Health Organization, has already undertaken research and testing for the first phase of the vaccine. Although the first phase was unsuccessful, researchers found in the 2nd phase that the vaccine provided 30-33% immunity. If research continues, immunity will likely reach 50%.
The development of the vaccine will be a benchmark in the progress of discovering more cures. It will also show the Thai Government’s commitment to the project, as Thailand will be the manufacturing base for the cure as well as the vaccine patent holder.