HIV vaccine wouldn’t be a hit even if it existed

More than a quarter of North Americans say they wouldn’t take it

A new research paper published this month in AIDS, the official journal of the International AIDS Society, says that even if an effective vaccine were invented to fight HIV, over a quarter of Canadian and U.S. residents would choose not to use it. The authors of the paper, University of Toronto professor Paul A. Newman and graduate student Carmen Logie, reviewed more than 30 quantitative and qualitative studies that surveyed North Americans, including those deemed at higher risk for HIV such as ethnic minorities, injection drug users, and men who have sex with men. They found that while fears about the dangers of vaccines were a factor in choosing not to be vaccinated, the vaccine’s potential effectiveness played a major role in their decision. For example, if a 50 per cent-effective vaccine existed, only 40 per cent of those surveyed would choose to be vaccinated compared to the 74 per cent who would if it was totally effective. Newman and Logie’s also found that many people said they would refuse the vaccination simply because they didn’t view themselves as at risk for HIV infection—even when they were part of high-risk groups.


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