Fifth Annual HIV Vaccine Awareness Day Highlights Research Advances, Volunteer Participation in Clinical Trials
Tomorrow marks the fifth annual HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, which highlights advancements in vaccine development and recognizes individuals who have volunteered to participate in vaccine trials. "HIV vaccine research is our best hope, along with other prevention efforts, to slow the spread of HIV," National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said. Six potential HIV vaccines have been tested in 12 small-scale clinical trials over the past five years, more than 12 potential HIV vaccines are expected to be tested in clinical trials of "various sizes" over the next two years and more than 12,000 individuals worldwide have volunteered to participate in vaccine trials (NIAID release, 5/16).
Ads Celebrate Vaccine Awareness Day
To mark the day, NIAID, HHS and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network today ran a full-page ad in several newspapers promoting HIV vaccine research. The ad, which ran in the Washington Post and the New York Times, reads, "[A]s you read this, scientists around the world -- the best minds in their fields -- are searching for safe and effective vaccines that prevent HIV infection and disease. Like the great biomedical pioneers who came before them, these scientists are determined to succeed. But they need you to join the fight to end the worldwide AIDS epidemic." The ad directs readers to a Web site ( http://www.niaid.nih.gov/hivvaccines) and a phone number (1-800-874-2572) that provide information on HIV vaccine research (Ad text, Washington Post, 5/17).
AVAC Releases AIDS Vaccine Report
The AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition today issued its fifth assessment of AIDS vaccine development, which concludes that while there is "some positive scientific news" on AIDS vaccines, there are also "significant challenges ahead." The report states that in order to identify an effective AIDS vaccine, more candidate vaccines will need to move into clinical trials. AVAC Executive Director Chris Collins said, "Five years ago the White House issued a challenge to the nation -- to develop an AIDS vaccine within a decade. This month we hit the halfway mark and many scientists believe we will not meet the deadline, or even come close." The report states that the U.S. government is "moving with increasing energy" to develop an AIDS vaccine, and the report commends the NIH-funded Comprehensive International Program of Research on AIDS, which aims to ensure long-term funding for AIDS researchers in developing countries. But the report states that "increased community engagement and public pressure" are needed to "accelerate research efforts" (AVAC release, 5/17). The report can be viewed online.