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Shifting Scientific, Health Priorities and Global Economic Downturn Impact Investment in HIV Prevention R&D
Date:7/20/2009

ne research funding. Levels were even lower across other HIV prevention research priorities. Nevertheless, the commercial sector contributes to the development of HIV prevention research in a number of ways through pharmaceutical company support. A number of companies have provided ARV compounds for development as potential microbicides, and as oral PrEP, along with technical support to microbicide product developers.

"The worldwide economic crisis has fueled debate about the best way to invest in global health, with some arguing that AIDS takes up resources at the expense of efforts to deal with other diseases and to improve health systems in the developing world. But given that AIDS is the number one killer in sub-Saharan Africa, and number four in the world, it is imperative that we reverse this pandemic, and that can only be done through improved methods of prevention, including a vaccine. If we can conquer AIDS, we will be able to invest resources in other pressing priorities," said Seth Berkley, President and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.

It is important to note that HIV vaccine research and development is continuing to move forward. Just today, the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative announced the start of a trial to study a vaccine candidate developed by local South African scientists. Results are also expected later this year from the largest vaccine trial ever, which successfully enrolled more than 16,000 participants. In addition, researchers around the world are developing new vaccine approaches and conducting basic research to inform vaccine development.

The report notes that increased investment in microbicide R&D may reflect increased interest in research on antiretroviral (ARV)-based candidates. Investment increased in microbicides overall at the same time that the field intensified its focus on ARV-based approaches to microbicide development.

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SOURCE AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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