May 18 – HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

World AIDS Vaccine Day, also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, is observed annually on 18th of May. HIV Vaccine advocates mark the day by promoting the continued urgent need for a vaccine to prevent  HIV infection and AIDS. The day is a chance to thank  the volunteers, community members,healthproffessionals and scientists working together to find a safe and effective preventive HIV vaccine.

Its aim is to raise awareness about HIV and address the continued urgent need for a vaccine to prevent  HIV infection and AIDS. The idea for World AIDS Vaccine Day came from then- US President Bill Clinton’s graduating speech at Morgan State University on May 18,1997. “Only a really effective,preventive HIV vaccine can minimize and eventually eradicate the threat of AIDS,’’ Clinton said, challenging the world to set new goals in the rising age of science and technology and develop an AIDS vaccine within the next decade.

The first World AIDS vaccine day on May 18,1998 to commemorate the anniversary of Clinton’s speech, and the tradition continues today. Each year communities around the globe hold a variety of activities on World AIDS vaccine day to raise awareness  for AIDS vaccines, educate communities about HIV prevention and research for an AIDS vaccine and bring attention  to the ways in which ordinary people can be a part of the international  effort to stem the pandemic.

Treatment options for HIV have improved a lot over the last 30 years. But HIV medicines can have side effects, can be expensive and can be hard to access in some countires. Also, some people may develop drug resistance to certain HIV medicines and then must change medicines.Using condoms correctly and taking pre-exposure prophylaxis can help prevent HIV transmission. But researchers believe a preventive HIV vaccine will be the most effective way to completely end new HIV infections.

Usually, World AIDS Vaccine Day is celebrated by holding activities around the world. But, due to COVID-19 lockdown, no gatherings will take place. Video-conferencing will be used to interact with fellow scientists and healthcare professionals.