2 for the Price of 1? Creating a Combo Anti-Heroin/HIV Vaccine
The Baltimore-Washington area is yearly cited as one of the largest concentrations in the country of people who are HIV+. It is also one of the top areas of concentration of those engaged in IV drug use. A breakthrough of a combined anti-heroin and HIV vaccine seems too good to be true. But the National Institute on Drug Abuse is investing millions of dollars in research based on the hope that a vaccine just might work. If this double vaccine does work, it would go a long way to reducing the spread of the virus. This would be good news for everyone, as the disease ends up affecting non-drug users as well as users. The possibility of offering effective medical interventions might make the kind of impact we have been looking for all these years, in limiting the epidemic. This new double vaccine, in addition to home testing for HIV, new medicines that reduce the viral load of those who have the virus (thus reducing the chances of infecting others), as well as new medicines helping those who are HIV- avoid contracting the virus when sexually active with HIV+ partners, is bolstering the hopes of many who are affected, if not infected, by the disease. More on home testing for HIV. More on new medicines.