On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump said that the same scientists who had come up with a vaccine for AIDS would come up with one for coronavirus and that the pandemic will soon go away. Only problem? There is no vaccine for AIDS.
Trump was at an address signing an executive order on police reform which would create a federal database of cops who have a history of using "excessive force."
Then he went off-topic to speak about scientists and coronavirus vaccines. These were his exact words - “These are the people – the best, the smartest, the most brilliant anywhere, and they’ve come up with the AIDS vaccine. They’ve come up with ... various things.”
Fact check: There is no vaccine for AIDS. There are, however, drugs which can help people diagnosed with AIDS live with it.
According to the U.S. Health & Human Services Department, there are numerous powerful anti-HIV drugs which can act as prevention. For instance, if a healthy person takes these medicines, the chances of them contracting HIV through sexual intercourse or other means would reduce drastically.
That is where Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) comes in. This particular drug is taken by those who do not have HIV but are at a high risk of contracting it. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or through injection drug use, then taking this pill every day can reduce chances of the virus causing an infection that is permanent. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, this pill when taken daily can be really effective in preventing HIV.
However, as the US Health Department said, there is no vaccine for HIV which can prevent infection or cure those who have been infected. According to official data, at least 1.1 million people in the US are living with HIV. About 14% of them do not even know they need to get tested.
Trump keeps outdoing himself when it comes to bizarre claims about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, he had said that the best way to reduce the number of coronavirus infections would be to stop testing altogether.
Stopping Covid-19 tests would certainly reduce the number of cases reported, because one wouldn't find out if they tested positive in the first place. But it would not reduce the actual number of coronavirus patients, since people would continue to get infected even if tests aren't conducted.