How COVID-19 research has both helped and harmed HIV progress

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(WDVM) — With COVID-19 dominating most of the healthcare system’s resources, other medical issues have had to take a backseat.

The CDC found that there 670,000 fewer HIV screening tests and about 4,900 fewer HIV diagnoses from March through September of 2020 than there were during the same time period in 2019. Some of this difference can be attributed to clinics having to dedicate more time and resources to treating COVID-19. But many people were also too scared of catching the virus to seek medical attention.

But despite taking the spotlight away from HIV, some experts believe coronavirus research has given scientists a new perspective for when they return to working on the 40-year-old disease.

“Hopefully, some of the things we’ve learned from the COVID-19 vaccines will ultimately help us to develop a successful and highly effective HIV vaccine,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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