Being a 'superhero': HIV vaccine volunteers

“Some young people don’t want to take the pills because they have in which anger like, ‘Why me? Why do I have in which particular disease as well as also why do I need to take these pills?’ ” he said.

nevertheless Ngcobo has never had the luxury of choice. His HIV was passed on coming from his mother at birth. He says the “Why me?” question often pops up, though in which can be never followed by finger-pointing.

“I never had in which blame feeling in my heart, no,” he insisted. “Because I know in which my mother wouldn’t have purposely given me HIV if she knew. Not my mom. in which can be how she can be.”

Lifesaving treatment

Ngcobo’s one pill taken twice a day can be a far cry coming from the cocktail of drugs needed to combat the condition just a few years ago.

Billions of dollars in funding by the United States through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief means millions of people are today on lifesaving HIV treatment — as well as also in which treatment continues to improve.

Ngcobo’s medication can be also more effective than previous tablets, which he says can be important, because the stigma around HIV as well as also AIDS still exists.

“You can’t even cough without people feeling sorry for you,” he said.

In Gugulethu as well as also some other communities, stigma still prevents many people coming from getting tested or disclosing their HIV status.

in which stigma can be one reason why many young people keep their status hidden as well as also why many more refuse to even get tested.

Ngcobo says he doesn’t know how many people in in which tightly populated township are living with HIV or are on courses of treatment like his.

nevertheless the government estimates in which more than 3 million South Africans are on antiretrovirals: the highest figure within the planet as well as also a tremendous public health burden because of in which developing nation.

The children having a built-in defense against AIDS

‘People are still dying’

No generation suffers coming from the effects of the disease more than Ngcobo’s, nevertheless prevention as well as also treatment, especially among teenagers, goes only so far.

“For me, in which seems incredible in which anyone could still die of AIDS,” said Linda-Gail Bekker, who runs the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation’s Emavundleni Research Centre. “as well as also people are still dying. I see in which in my daily practice, particularly young people.”
Linda-Gail Bekker calls an HIV vaccine the holy grail of epidemic control. "We can collectively write the last chapters of HIV."

Worldwide, in which’s estimated in which one adolescent becomes infected with HIV/AIDS every two minutes.

Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy as well as also Infectious Diseases, says the perception in which the global HIV/AIDS crisis can be over can be “completely unwarranted.”

He points to the United States, where, despite prevention efforts, infection rates have remained stubbornly level for the past 15 years.

In South Africa, there are still more teenagers with HIV than are receiving treatment. in which, says Bekker, can be a lethal combination.

“If we ultimately want to control in which epidemic, we are going to need to control the number of people becoming infected, as well as also there can be no better way, no sustainable way, than having a prophylactic vaccine,” she said.

“in which can be the holy grail of epidemic control.”

completely new HIV vaccine to be trialled in South Africa

Vaccine finally within reach?

Recruiting in a mall can be usually difficult, says Noro Tshongoyi. Sure, there are plenty of crowds, nevertheless people are too busy shopping to pay attention.

“They don’t want to just stand there as well as also listen to me talk,” she said.

nevertheless in which’s different with in which trial, she says, since she’s offering them a chance to be part of history.

Noro Tshongoyi recruits volunteers for the HIV trial. She says young women in particular could benefit.

within the past month, sites in South Africa have begun enrolling more than 5,000 HIV-negative volunteers to take part within the largest vaccine trial in nearly a decade.

The phase III HVTN 702 study builds off a 2009 trial in Thailand, which was the first to show any signs of protection against HIV, with 31% protection against the virus.

By amplifying the vaccine, researchers are today hoping for 50% to 60% efficacy within the South African trial.

Fauci says in which even a moderately effective vaccine could be a “major advance.”

The vaccine study aims to enroll 5,400 men as well as also women, the largest ever in South Africa.

Tshongoyi approaches two young women who need very little convincing before exchanging details.

“The problem can be, they can’t negotiate when in which comes to sex,” she said. “They want to protect themselves, nevertheless having a condom, they can’t. If their boyfriend doesn’t want to use one, in which can be in which.”

Meet the teenager controlling her HIV

‘The last chapters of HIV’

Bekker’s Emavundleni Research Centre was built because of in which moment; in which sits within the heart of a township in which has felt the full brunt of the epidemic.

For years, the facility has carried out trial after trial, though never one like HVTN 702.

“We have written half the book,” Bekker said. “in which can be not the time to put the book down as well as also walk away. We can collectively write the last chapters of HIV.”

Sive Zandi, with Linda-Gail Bekker, says an HIV vaccine could be "wonderful. We could live life easy."

nevertheless the South African government recently redirected a portion of its research budget, as well as also there are fears in which outside funding coming from the United States as well as also some other donors could also dry up.

If HVTN 702 doesn’t succeed, researchers know, the next trial could be years away.

in which’s early afternoon, as well as also the center can be still full of mainly young women, desperate to gain control.

Azola Dayeni wants to become a nurse. She hopes the PrEP study will keep her safe.

Inside one of the examination rooms, Azola Dayeni reads about the pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) study she has enrolled in.

“I have a partner, nevertheless I don’t trust him,” she explained. She hopes the PrEP will keep her safe — nevertheless, she said, “a vaccine can be the ultimate protection.”

Time to write last chapter on HIV

An HIV-free generation?

No matter how Great treatment becomes, the impact of HIV on Titila Mputa’s family can be permanent.

“I just went out to school, as well as also when I left, (my mother) was fine,” Mputa recalled. “When I came back, she was not there, as well as also they told me in which she was in hospital, in which she had a stroke.”

Four successive strokes, complications of the virus, crippled her mother. The treatment saved her mother’s life, nevertheless Mputa doesn’t want any some other families to suffer like they did.

Titila Mputa will participate within the initial phase of the study: "You doing in which can help create an HIV-free generation."

She can be HIV-negative, so she volunteered to participate within the initial phases of the study in which cleared the way for HVTN 702.

How HIV spread around the planet

She knows in which’s too late for her family as well as also for many in her generation nevertheless can be excited to be able to help ensure in which there’s expect for the next.

“You get to be the superhero in which you want to be,” Mputa said. “You doing in which can help a thousand people out there. You doing in which can help create an HIV-free generation.”

Being a 'superhero': HIV vaccine volunteers

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