Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Awards Three-Year, $600,000 Grant to AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition; Coalition Names New Executive Director
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation yesterday announced a three-year, $600,000 grant for the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, a consumer-based advocacy group "working to speed development and delivery of AIDS vaccines" throughout the world, according to an AVAC release. "Stopping the transmission of HIV ... is the foundation's number one global health priority. Developing a vaccine for AIDS in the near term and focusing on prevention in the immediate term are our most pressing and promising imperatives," Dr. Helene Gayle, a senior adviser to the Gates' foundation, said, adding that "AVAC's contribution to vaccine development and delivery is critical to our continued momentum and ultimate success."
AVAC Names New Executive Director
AVAC also named co-founder Chris Collins as its new executive director. Collins, who previously served as a principal with the health policy consulting firm Progressive Health Partners, said that it is "now clear that an AIDS vaccine is possible," adding, "The question is how soon we find it and who gets it when we do." He thanked the Gates' foundation for its "continuing leadership on global health" and said AVAC "look[s] forward to expanding our efforts with the foundation's generous support" (AVAC release, 1/23).