By Steven LB Jensen / Daily Maverick
A new global Aids strategy is being developed at the United Nations. This really should be breaking news and the subject of major attention around the world. Unfortunately, it is not.
“Epidemics are like large signposts,” the German doctor and founder of social medicine Rudolf Virchow wrote in 1848, “[and] form an inseparable part of the cultural history of mankind.” However, the international community appears to have lost an understanding of the enduring significance of the global response to the HIV/Aids epidemic. The signposts for this are nevertheless all around if we care to look. One topical example is the question: How come Covid-19 vaccines were developed relatively quickly?
“Covid-19, Ebola and Zika [virus] have benefited enormously from all the work that has gone into developing platforms for HIV vaccines, so if we had not invested all this money into HIV, we would not have solutions for Ebola, Zika and SARS-CoV-2. It’s because of those platforms that we’ve been able to nimbly move to the next pathogen.”