Sex. We all have sex. It’s natural. We might not talk about it but it’s literally how we all got here. When was the last time you had sex? In the last year? This brings us to why creating an HIV vaccine matters now more than ever.
But I don’t have HIV, so why does this matter to me?
That’s the point of a vaccine, to prevent disease. It’s the reason why researchers, including OIC, have been working for over 30 years on creating a HIV vaccine – to prevent new HIV infections in people that don’t have HIV. In fact, OIC is participating in an international HIV vaccine study now. You also probably don’t have measles, polio, smallpox, or diphtheria thanks to vaccinations against these serious illnesses. If you’ve ever had a shot, you’ve probably had a vaccine. A vaccine is the safest, most effective manner to prevent disease across an entire population, say like Orlando, or the world. So for those that do not have HIV, the development of a safe, effective HIV vaccine matters most, to keep you that way.
Surprising HIV Stats
The latest HIV data offers some surprisingly good news but not for everyone.
2018-2019 Central Florida HIV Statistics1
- 1% decrease in new HIV cases from 2018 to 20191
- 2% decrease in new HIV cases among Hispanic individuals from 2018 to 20191
- 6% increase in new HIV cases among Black individuals from 2018 to 20191
A Deeper Understanding of the Data
HIV is down in Florida and across the US thanks to several factors. Treatment is simple and effective. In fact, once someone is virally suppressed, HIV is undetectable and they cannot transmit the virus! Plus more people than ever are on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). Its a highly effective method of HIV prevention, which includes taking one pill once a day and regular doctor visits. Regular HIV testing is increasing and condoms are available for free at many locations. All of this is great news. But unfortunately, all of these HIV prevention methods require consistent access to healthcare. They include daily medication regimens, regular medical visits, and labs. While this is easy for some, it’s challenging for others. And for many people in other parts of the world, they don’t have these choices.
HIV Prevention Strategies – More #Choices
We all love options! That’s why, now, more than ever an HIV vaccine is needed to provide both doctors and individuals another choice for HIV prevention. For example, if a vaccine was 70% effective, it could prevent HIV in millions of people. As a result, save millions of lives! This is why creating an HIV vaccine matters now.
1. FLHealthCharts.com is provided by the Florida Department of Health, Division of Public Health Statistics & Performance Management. Central Florida includes Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Seminole counties. Data Source: Florida Department of Health, HIV/AIDS Section