New York, NY The AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC) today urged Dr. Anthony Fauci and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to act swiftly to clarify the path ahead suggested by the announcement that NIAID would not go forward with the proposed PAVE 100 AIDS vaccine trial but would, instead, consider a smaller trial of the same candidate. AVAC also calls on leaders in the field to make clear commitments of financing, leadership and scientific exploration to further the search for an AIDS vaccine.
The decision not to move forward comes just over one month after a meeting of the AIDS Vaccine Research Subcommittee at which the majority of participants voiced support for the scientific premise and the trial design of the proposed PAVE 100 trial. At that meeting, AVAC also voiced cautious support for the trial going forward, while stressing that there was no substitute for extended community education and consultation to ensure that diverse groups of men who have sex with men, who would be asked to participate in the study, would have a clear and decisive role in determining the acceptability of the study.
"In deciding not to go ahead with PAVE 100, Dr. Fauci and NIAID have likely considered other fiscal and feasibility considerations beyond these scientific recommendations," said AVAC Executive Director Mitchell Warren. "The reality of science is that these issues also carry great weight. However, after nearly a year of public hand-wringing and unproductive public attacks on the entire search for an AIDS vaccine, it is essential that this decision not be viewed as a vote of no-confidence for the overall endeavor."
"At AVAC we supported the scientific premise of the trial and believed that it was being designed in such a way that participants' safety would be protected to the fullest extent possible," Warren said.
"While the consultative process around the trial had insufficient community input, it did feature
|Contact: Mitchell Warren|
AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC)