"A catastrophe worse than terrorism" is what United States Secretary of State Colin L. In a story in the Washington Post, Powell said, "One threat that troubles me perhaps more than any other does not come out of the barrel of a gun, it is not an army on the march, it is not an ideology on a march. It's called HIV/AIDS." Worldwide, forty-two million people are living with HIV/AIDS, of which twenty-nine point four million live in sub-Saharan Africa. Current projections estimate that an additional 45 million people will become infected between two thousand two and two thousand ten. Most of these people will come from underdeveloped countries. .
The search for an HIV vaccine dates back to nineteen eight-seven, when the first human trial of a candidate HIV vaccine was conducted in the United States. About thirty experimental vaccines have since been tested in sixty different trials. A fact sheet from the United Nations points out that a vaccine will not be an alternative to prevention. Because an eventual vaccine is unlikely to be one hundred percent effective, it will have to be used alongside wide ranging and effective prevention programs. Distribution of any vaccine will be another difficult challenge, as many of the countries hit hardest by AIDS lack the necessary healthcare areas to administrate such a large scale immunization program. .
To help fight the epidemic, United States President George W. Bush asked the US Congress to commit fifteen billion dollars for AIDS related research and support, including ten billion dollars in new funds, to fight HIV/AIDS in the most affected countries in Africa and the Caribbean. .
Pharmaceutical companies around the world are working to develop a vaccine for the deadly virus. The United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced the start of human testing of a new investigational vaccine to protect people uninfected with HIV from contracting the virus or developing AIDS in November two thousand two.