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Introducing a first AIDS vaccine in Switzerland: a Policy Delphi analysis.
Sozial- und Präventivmedizin
This preliminary exploration was limited by a number of factors. The format of the study has necessarily induced some form of selection bias of the panelists, because of the complexity of some questions, and the time required to complete the questionnaires. Several issues have not been addressed. One example could be the response to HIV infection occurring in a vaccinee. The study also did not address the difficulties related to the licensing of the vaccine. Indeed, the proposed scenario assumed that the vaccine had been registered as a starting point for the analysis. Finally, it has not been possible to conduct a sensitivity analysis, in order to evaluate how the responses would have been modified if some important characteristics of the vaccine had been modified.Very diverse evaluations were given in response to questions related with attitudes and perception of AIDS and AIDS vaccine. The possibility that vaccine availability or usage can be associated with an increased frequency in risky behaviors was spontaneously mentioned by half of the panelists. The estimation of the proportion of persons at highest risk who would choose to use this vaccine also indicated a high degree of uncertainty. This study offers important lessons. According to a broad and diverse panel of individuals, an incompletely effective AIDS vaccine would result in an additional level of complexity for the AIDS prevention strategy, rather than a simplification. The use of such a vaccine would have to be coupled with counselling. This implies a sustained emphasis on the recommendations which have been central to the STOP AIDS campaigns until now. In addition, consensual issues, as well as other issues more likely to be controversial have been identified. This should greatly help focusing the work of any committee designated to develop and implement a vaccination policy if an AIDS vaccine became available. Finally, our experience with the Policy Delphi indicates that this mode of structured communication could be usefully applied to other public health issues presenting a high visibility as well as a complex relationship with public perception.
AIDS Vaccines, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/prevention & control, Delphi Technique, Health Policy, Humans, Public Health, Switzerland
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