Anti-HIV/AIDS vaccine will be available in the country within the next three years and its clinical trial is on, President A P J Abdul Kalam said on Friday. "Hopefully in three years, it will be available in the market," he told a conclave on 'HIV/AIDS: A uniformed intervention', organised by Assam Rifles Wives Welfare Association.
I hate empty promises like this one. If it were really possible to guarantee that, why aren't any researchers in the field saying so? As far as I know, there is no effective HIV/AIDS vaccine. Any vaccines that are being tested are being tested because it isn't known whether they work. It's really counterproductive to presume that a trial in progress is going to have a positive result.
In general, I'm not so terribly excited about Abdul Kalam. He may have been a good rocket scientist and engineer in his day, but a lot of what he comes up with these days regarding the status of science and technology in India is pretty nutty. When do we get a new Indian President?
Secondly, I'm really not thrilled about the idea that Indian medical schools are going to be incorporating homeopathic medicine into the M.B.B.S. curriculum in the next few years.
I know lots of people subscribe to things like Ayurveda, but it always makes me cringe when people talk about treating cancer with random concoctions, scented candles, and prayer. If folks want to do Ayurveda, fine. There is something to the placebo effect (if you actually believe it). But when the doctors themselves don't know the difference, their patients are really in trouble.
Fortunately, many in the medical community in India are criticizing the proposal.