[Video News Release and video/audio sound bites available; see end of release for details]
May 18th marks the Fifth Annual HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, which highlights research advances and the challenges of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and underscores why developing preventive HIV vaccines offers the best hope for controlling the AIDS pandemic. Thousands of volunteers worldwide who have participated in studies to test candidate HIV vaccines will be recognized. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health has been supporting HIV vaccine studies since 1987.
HIV vaccine research is our best hope, along with other prevention efforts, to slow the spread of HIV, says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. May 18th provides us with an opportunity to recognize the researchers, community educators, and thousands of volunteers around the world who have been involved in the quest for an HIV vaccine.
Increased federal funding has expanded the HIV vaccine pipeline by allowing for more exploration of various vaccine strategies. During the past 5 years, 6 potential HIV vaccines were tested in 12 small-scale clinical trials conducted both here and around the world. Over the next 2 years, more than a dozen potential vaccines are expected to be ready for testing requiring more than 20 clinical trials of various sizes. This investment in vaccine research has made the discovery of an effective HIV vaccine more possible today than ever before.
The public needs to understand that AIDS is not under control, says Margaret (Peggy) I. Johnston, Ph.D., associate director for HIV/AIDS vaccines, NIAID. HIV continues to spread unabated in many parts of the world. What we need is to stop that spread, and the best hope to do that is through a safe and effective preventive HIV vaccine. We definitely need public support and particularly the cooperation of volunteers in our clinical research if w
Contact: James Hadley
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases