AIDS: Safety First

“Chinese AIDS Vaccine Safe, Possibly Effective”

I caught this headline on CCTV 9 yesterday at Maggie’s parents’ house (FINALLY, after a year and a half in this country, learned how to make dumplings). It’s also gracing the top of a Xinhua article announcing the same thing.

I’m not sure what about it just made me laugh, but laugh I did. I know AIDS is not a jovial subject and with the 16th International AIDS Conference just wrapping up in Toronto, I can’t help but think about a good friend of mine that succumbed to the disease a few years ago.

Sad memories aside though, what the hell kind of headline is that: “Possibly Effective”. I mean… the “safe” bit is good, but you throw that “possibly effective” in there and it negates any grandness the article may have had. It’s a bit like saying pulling out is a “safe, and possibly effective” form of birth control.

Cynicism curbed, kudos to the brass in Zhong Guo for pushing forward and recognizing the gravity of this issue in China. It completely had the potential of going the way of Africa here, as for a long time it was denied to be anything but a foreigner’s problem – now it looks as though they’ve got some of the best minds in the country sorting sorting it out … well, maybe not “best minds”, those guys are currently trying to take water away from the south and put it in Sichuan.

Still, Xinhua at least, has a ways to go in being a bit more sensitive in their writing:

A group of scientists and experts have advised the State Council, the Chinese cabinet, to raise funding for and encourage innovation and cooperation in research, warning the disease is spreading quickly to ordinary people.

Yeah… who needs to help a bunch of whores and faggots. Let ‘em die – they ain’t “ordinary”.

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One Response

  1. While the headline might seem funny, I think it’s a good, measured, non-sensationalistic one. The phase 1 trials are designed to primarily test for safety, and only secondarily to test for efficacy. If a phase 1 trial is successful, that only means that the vaccine is allowed to move on to phase 2 trials. So, saying anything more than “possibly effective” would have been inaccurate. Also, leaving out “possibly effective” altogether, would have been misleading.

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