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Ethical considerations in AIDS vaccine trials

Sanjay Mehendale


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated at the end of 1998 that around 33.4 million people were living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection all over the world, over 90% of them in developing countries. However, in developing countries, promising newer therapeutic options for HIV/ AIDS are unaffordable, and prevention through behavioural change has not been successful due to illiteracy and low level of awareness. On the other hand, prophylactic vaccination has shown remarkable success in the control of many communicable diseases. Therefore global efforts are ongoing to develop vaccines to prevent infection among persons exposed to HIV (prophylactic) or prevent HIVinfected persons from progressing to AIDS (therapeutic vaccine).

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