The African led HIV vaccine trial which was scheduled to be conducted between 2018 to 2022 is gathering pace.
The initiative is being implemented in four African countries including Zimbabwe. The trial will be one of the highlights at the upcoming 10th conference on HIV science in Mexico.
Owen Mugurungi, Aids and TB director in the Health ministry believes that the vaccine will play an essential role in limiting the spread of the disease. He said:
A vaccine is the cheapest way to manage any disease. Immunisation is better than treatment which is more expensive.
Although the initiative is African led, it is being funded by European states.
The vaccine is expected to reduce the currently high demand for antiretroviral drugs.
Mugurungi further said:
Everyone is looking forward to an effective vaccine which will save many lives and billions of dollars which are being spent on treatment.
Participants to the study shall be constantly and carefully monitored to establish the effectiveness or effects of the vaccine.
HIV prevalence has been significantly declining in Zimbabwe. However, stakeholders believe that there is still room for improvement.
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More: NewsDay Zimbabwe