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An AIDS Vaccine
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Recent results for an experimental AIDS vaccine were less than promising (despite the headline for this story...I wouldn't call a statistically insignificant result "promising").

But guess what? We already have an AIDS vaccine. It's made out of latex and you put in on you or your partner's dick before you have sex.

Studies have shown that latex condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV transmission when used consistently and correctly. These studies looked at uninfected people considered to be at very high risk of infection because they were involved in sexual relationships with HIV-infected people. The studies found that even with repeated sexual contact, 98-100 percent of those people who used latex condoms correctly and consistently did not become infected.

Hmm...let's compare:

1) A highly experimental, expensive vaccine that is roughly 3-4% effective

2) A cheap, easily dispersed measure that is 98-100% effective

What's wrong with this picture?

And please don't tell me about blood transfusions, rape, and drug use. By far, the largest transmission vector for AIDS is sexual contact.

A huge part of the problem is the fact that most political and religious leaders around the world don't have the guts to speak openly about a deadly, sexually-transmitted disease in a mature, adult manner. Listening to the remarks of such leaders, you'd think that AIDS was transmitted like Malaria or Polio.

It's not. And because of that lack of engagement with realism, millions more people will become infected, and millions more will die. Not because of logistics or money. But because of cultural mores, irresponsibility, lack of education, and religious beliefs.

In short, human behavior. This is the primary obstacle with regard to first controlling, then eradicating, AIDS.

People are wringing their hands, praying for a magic bullet, when in fact we already have one.

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