The ethics of AIDS vaccine trials: thorny issues
Around the globe, 70 million people have already become infected with HIV, and 30 million have died. A worldwide effort is needed to develop means to achieve long-term success: most importantly, effective AIDS vaccines.
In this article, Seth Berkley outlines some of the ethical challenges faced by those involved in HIV vaccine trials, particularly focusing on the provision of treatment for trial participants who – despite counselling – become HIV infected during the trial.
Various solutions have been suggested – ranging from insurance schemes to funds for ongoing treatment. Berkley says that, in the end, only governments can provide long-term care guarantees, although trial sponsors and donor agencies may need to fill funding gaps in the short term.