Bill Gates Predicts An HIV Vaccine By 2030

Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, said he expects a pair of advances by 2030 that will eliminate most of the damage from AIDS, the global epidemic that has killed more than 36 million people.

Improved treatment and the development of a vaccine to prevent new infections are the “two miracles” needed to help turn the tide, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp. said Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“We won’t see the end of AIDS,” Gates said at the forum. “But, both for malaria and AIDS, we’re seeing that the tools that let us do a 95 percent to 100 percent reduction, those tools will be invented during this 15-year period.”

Gates and his wife, who run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, predicted in their annual letter this week that conditions for the world’s poorest people will improve more between now and 2030 than at any other time in history. He cited advances in agriculture, banking and medicine.

Expanding treatment to 90 percent of people with HIV by 2020 from 38 percent now will help reverse the epidemic, preventing 21 million deaths and 28 million infections in the following decade, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, or UNAIDS, wrote in a report in November. The number of annual AIDS-related deaths has declined each year since 2005 because of advances in treatment and expanded access.

Gates said at the forum that even after the eventual development of a vaccine, there may still be more than 30 million people infected. He cited the need for a less costly alternative to the lifetime treatment that is currently used for infected people.

“What we need to get is some approach where you have such intense therapy that after, say, a year, you no longer need to be treating them,” Gates said.

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