The 2017 Global Citizen Festival event brought in over 60,000 people to New York’s Central Park this weekend to bring awareness for achieving Sustainable Development and ending extreme poverty around the world by 2030.
One of the many announcements organizers made during the festival involved the first ever “global” HIV vaccine, meaning it protects against all strains of HIV.
Johnson & Johnson announced their commitment to accelerate an HIV vaccine that for the first time is going into late stage human clinical trials.The vaccine proved to be 100 percent effective, according to a statement from Global Citizen.
“As a scientist and a physician,” Paul Stoffels, Johnson & Johnson’s chief scientific officer, said during the event. “I am excited and motivated by this progress. We are hoping to take this vaccine to the next phase. We all know that science is unpredictable. But these results make me more optimistic than ever that we will get to a vaccine in our lifetime and prevent people from HIV forever.”
Scientists hope to reach an efficacy rate of 90 percent, but note that even if the rate is only 50 percent effective, it will still be able to reduce HIV diagnoses by 35 percent around the world.
“Global Citizens, you have my promise that all of us at Johnson & Johnson will not rest until we defeat HIV,” Stoffels concluded.
The small trial of 350 HIV-positive volunteers proved to extremely successful, showing that the vaccine was 100 percent effective at achieving immunity against all strains of HIV — something that has yet to be the case given that some strains prove harder to treat than others.