Mandela Foundation, South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative To Work Together To Involve Teens in HIV Vaccine Research
The South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative and the Nelson Mandela Foundation announced on Thursday that they will work together to involve teenagers in the development of an HIV vaccine, News24.com reports. "Our partnership with SAAVI will enable us to harness the best minds in the vaccine area, in the development of a meaningful prevention-based response to the epidemic," John Samuel, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said. SAAVI spokesperson Michelle Galloway said, "At the moment we think our best shot is at preventative treatment," adding, "Scientists are saying that at some point we are going to have to involve teenagers in trials because they are the most at-risk group" (News24.com, 8/12). SAAVI Director Tim Tucker said, "SAAVI is committed to the long-term involvement of fully informed adolescents in HIV vaccine research and development, and in the speedy rollout of a successful vaccine to this target group. Preparing for this work is a cornerstone of the partnership." The specifics of the partnership include:
- The Mandela Foundation will support SAAVI in the development of an HIV vaccine for South Africa and will attempt to gain further support for vaccine development.
- SAAVI will support the Mandela Foundation's efforts to make a "significant impact" on the HIV/AIDS pandemic as well as other foundation activities.
- The Mandela Foundation will become involved with SAAVI initiatives such as the Childhood and Adolescent Working Group and the development of an adolescent HIV vaccine.
- The groups will establish an international consultative meeting of individuals who work with adolescents in Africa and elsewhere.
- The groups will advocate work to encourage the participation of parents and adolescents in HIV vaccine development.
The partnership was announced at the premiere of "Yesterday," the first isiZulu feature film produced by Anant Singh (Mandela Foundation/SAAVI release, 8/12).
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