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AIDS Vaccines: Where Do We Go From Here?
Date:7/28/2008

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Key Thought Leaders Explore Critical Next Steps for AIDS Vaccine Research at the 17th International AIDS Conference in Mexico City

NEW YORK, July 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative:

WHAT:

Today, AIDS vaccine research is at a pivotal moment. Just ten months ago, the second AIDS vaccine candidate to reach late-stage testing failed. In the wake of this disappointment, some skeptics have argued that an AIDS vaccine may not be possible and that resources dedicated to its development should be directed instead towards treating HIV-infected individuals. Now is the time to take a hard look at the toughest questions currently facing AIDS vaccine researchers. How should the finite resources for AIDS vaccine research be prioritized? How can the toughest scientific questions facing AIDS vaccine researchers be tackled? What criteria should be used to decide which vaccine candidates merit further testing, and which should be dropped? How do you continue to sustain much-needed support for a preventive vaccine that may take decades to develop?

In its biennial AIDS Vaccine Blueprint: A Challenge to the Field, a Roadmap for Progress, IAVI will put forth a series of concrete recommendations and milestones that will guide research to answer the critical scientific questions that have hampered AIDS vaccine development to date.

WHY:

The AIDS pandemic is one of the greatest global health crises of our time. In the 25 years since HIV was first identified as the cause of AIDS, an estimated 25 million people have died of the disease and 33 million more are currently living with HIV. Almost 7,000 people become newly infected with HIV everyday, and for every two people who start antiretroviral therapy, another five become newly infected with HIV. While a preventive vaccine is the best long-term solution to the pandemic, much still remains to be done to discover and make a vaccine accessible globally.

WHO:

Seth Berkley, MD, CEO and President, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)

Peter Piot, MD, Executive Director, UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General, United Nations

Alan Bernstein, MD, Executive Director, Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise

Omu Anzala, MD, Associate Professor, University of Nairobi School of Medicine

WHERE:

Media Centre, Room 2

WHEN:

Tuesday, August 5 (9:00AM to 9:45AM)

CONTACT: Hester Kuipers

hkuipers@iavi.org

+31 20 5210343 / +31 64898130

Rachel Steinhardt

rsteinhardt@iavi.org

212-847-1045


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SOURCE International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
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