© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Looking for HIV Vaccine Volunteers

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health are conducting the first phase of a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) vaccine that could stop the global spread of AIDS. The vaccine contains components that could make it effective against all strains of HIV, anywhere in the world.

But to carry out these tests, researchers need volunteers. And as NPR's Joe Palca reports, finding them can be extremely difficult. Scientists are asking people to give hours of their time -- and often multiple samples of their blood -- to be injected with a vaccine that may or may not work, and might even turn out to be harmful.

But the stakes are high. Some facts about HIV:

» Approximately 1 million people in the United States are already infected with HIV, and an additional 40,000 are infected each year.

» Worldwide, 14,000 people are infected with HIV every day. Every minute, five people under age 25 become infected.

» More than 40 million people are living with HIV around the world -- 3 million are children under age 15.

» Globally, more than 25 million people have died from AIDS.

» Less than 5 percent of the 40 million people living with HIV have access to treatment.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR. Since joining NPR in 1992, Palca has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. He is currently focused on the eponymous series, "Joe's Big Idea." Stories in the series explore the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. Palca is also the founder of NPR Scicommers – A science communication collective.
Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!