Navigation Links
World AIDS Vaccine Day 2008
Date:5/16/2008

Debunking the Myth 25 Years Later: An AIDS Vaccine is Possible and Still Urgently Needed

NEW YORK, May 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Twenty-five years since the discovery of HIV, the world has made considerable advances in addressing the AIDS pandemic. Scientists have learned a tremendous amount about HIV, perhaps more than any other pathogen, and have developed more drugs to treat AIDS than all other viral diseases combined. But this progress is not enough. While it is vital to treat as many HIV-infected individuals as possible and provide current prevention options more widely, the world still urgently needs to search for new tools that can prevent people from becoming infected with HIV in the first place. And a vaccine remains the best hope for eliminating this devastating disease once and for all.

Eleven years ago, during a commencement speech made at Morgan State University, U.S. President Bill Clinton called for an AIDS vaccine within a decade. A year later, AIDS vaccine advocates around the world marked the first World AIDS Vaccine Day. While Clinton's ten-year goal was unfortunately not met, a great deal has been learned in the quest to develop a vaccine.

This has been an eventful year in AIDS vaccine development; the second vaccine candidate to complete efficacy testing failed. In the wake of this news, some skeptics have questioned whether an AIDS vaccine will ever be developed. It is true that scientists have a difficult task ahead, and much remains unknown. But on May 18, as we honor all the individuals who work tirelessly to help make an AIDS vaccine a reality, it is an appropriate moment to reflect on what we do know. It's much more than many realize.

Science suggests an AIDS vaccine is possible. Nearly every individual who becomes infected with HIV is able to hold the virus in check for several years before progressing to AIDS. What's more, some individuals, known as elite controllers, are able to hold the virus in check indefinitely. Scientists are now actively studying the immune responses of these unique individuals to identify clues that could help in the design of an effective AIDS vaccine.

Second, some HIV-infected individuals develop antibodies that are capable of neutralizing a broad range of HIV strains. To date, scientists have identified and mapped the structure of several of these antibodies and are actively trying to design immunogens that can stimulate the production of these antibodies in humans.

Finally, non-human primates immunized with a live, but weakened form of the simian equivalent of HIV are protected from infection. For safety reasons, we cannot immunize humans with weakened HIV, but scientists are actively studying the immune responses of these animals to better understand what it is that protects them from infection and to replicate these responses in the next generation of AIDS vaccine candidates.

Developing an AIDS vaccine is pioneering science. Scientists are hard at work on fresh new approaches to AIDS vaccines. Many of the AIDS vaccine candidates in the current pipeline focus on one arm of the immune system, aiming to stimulate T-cell immunity. It is likely that a fully preventive vaccine will need to stimulate both T-cell and antibody immune responses: antibodies to prevent the initial infection and T-cell immunity to mop up any rogue cells that do become infected. AIDS vaccine researchers are focused on both of these approaches, designing new vectors to carry the vaccine inserts, including some that replicate in the mucosal surfaces where HIV often enters the body. Experts are also collaborating worldwide to develop vaccine antigens that elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies and are even testing new technologies that could help to more effectively deliver vaccines. This past year alone, several organizations, including IAVI, have also created financing incentives to encourage biotechnology companies, which often contain a treasure trove of new ideas, to apply their technologies to AIDS vaccine discovery efforts.

Continued clinical research is also critical. We need to learn as much as possible about HIV and human responses to it. How does the immune system initially respond to HIV, and how does the virus change to escape detection from the immune system after it enters the body? What can we learn from the immune responses of newly-infected individuals? The answers to these questions may provide insights critical to the design of future vaccine candidates.

An AIDS vaccine is still urgently needed. Vaccines are one of the most effective public health interventions ever known. History has shown that a vaccine is the only way to eliminate a major viral epidemic. It has also shown that vaccines can take decades to develop. HIV was discovered 25 years ago, but we have only had a concerted AIDS vaccine effort for the last ten years. With nearly 7,000 new HIV infections per day, we must continue to do everything in our power to develop a vaccine that could eliminate the AIDS pandemic once and for all. AIDS remains the fourth-leading cause of death globally and the number one killer in sub-Saharan Africa.

Long-term support is needed. Developing an AIDS vaccine will require sustained commitment from the best minds in science, industry and academia, as well as political and financial support from governments and donors around the world. On May 18, as we honor those who have avidly supported and participated in AIDS vaccine research, we call upon these existing advocates, as well as new ones, to maintain their support for the long haul. Developing an AIDS vaccine isn't going to be easy. At IAVI, we look forward to a World AIDS Vaccine Day that can be marked with the actual discovery of a vaccine that has stopped the spread of HIV. Until then, we remain committed to accelerating vaccine discovery and development efforts toward that goal.

For more information on World AIDS Vaccine Day, please visit http://www.iavi.org/wavd.

About IAVI

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. Founded in 1996 and operational in 24 countries, IAVI and its network of collaborators research and develop vaccine candidates. IAVI's financial and in-kind supporters include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, The John D. Evans Foundation, The New York Community Trust, the James B. Pendleton Charitable Trust, The Rockefeller Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Basque Autonomous Government as well as the European Union; multilateral organizations such as The World Bank; corporate donors including BD (Becton, Dickinson & Co.), Bristol-Myers Squibb, Continental Airlines, Google Inc., Henry Schein, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc. and Pfizer Inc; leading AIDS charities such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Until There's A Cure Foundation; other private donors such as The Haas Trusts; and many generous individuals from around the world. For more information, see http://www.iavi.org.


'/>"/>
SOURCE International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. dLife Launches the Worlds Largest and Most Comprehensive Online Food and Diabetic Recipe Search Tool
2. WorldHeart Announces Possible Delisting Action by NASDAQ
3. World Vision Appealing for $2 Million for Deadly China Quake
4. Milestone Scientific to Exhibit at the DPRWorld(TM) 08 in Las Vegas, Nevada
5. Ferring Pharmaceuticals EUFLEXXA(R) to Serve as a Sponsor for the Babolat World Tennis Classic
6. WorldHeart Notified of TSX Delisting Review
7. Paro, the Worlds Only Robotic Baby Harp Seal - Designed Specifically for Therapy - to be Focus of Industry Event at Vinson Hall Retirement Community in McLean, Va., June 2
8. Aid Urgently Needed in Myanmar (Burma): Lutheran World Relief Responds
9. 5th Annual World Lupus Day Philadelphians Take Part In a Global Rally of Support
10. Isilon Named Best of Show at Bio-IT World 2008
11. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Awards Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide $1.4 Million Dollar Contract
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/10/2016)... Louis, Missouri (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 ... ... 2016, in San Diego, will bring together more than 200 of the country’s ... healthcare for the future. , “The true benefit of the Forum is the ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... Armune ... Apifiny® across their network of laboratory service centers across the country. Launched in ... aid clinicians in the detection of prostate cancer. Apifiny order volume exceeded 3,000 tests ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Burnsville MN (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 ... ... announced that it will attend the Ohio Safety Congress and Expo event March ... held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. , As the longest running ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 ... ... – 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224, February 26th: Amateur & Professional ... Elite Division - Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm | Ticket Prices $30, Social ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... Anxiety of ... since the start of Medicare Part D a decade ago, according to The ... from older adults on how they are coping with rapidly rising costs. “The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... 9, 2016 The leader in accelerated orthodontics, ... is the recipient of the 2015 Townie Choice ... Class II medical device that speeds up orthodontic tooth ... pain often associated with treatment, AcceleDent was selected by ... annual Orthotown survey of the most reliable ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... The life of Dr. Jan Vilcek , celebrated immunologist ...  Twists of fate, combined with sheer grit, brought him from ... communist Czechoslovakia to New York City ... history by playing a key role in the development of ...  Dr. Vilcek brings readers along his improbable journey in his ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... The new report "Global Anti-Bacterial Drugs Market Assessment & Forecast: 2015 ... that the North America continued to lead ... that translated into revenues worth US$ 16,907.3 million. ... Asia-Pacific , Latin America , ... global anti-bacterial market is inclined towards North America ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: