May 18 is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day


May 18 is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, an annual opportunity to call attention to progress in vaccine science and the need for further research on both preventive vaccines that stop new HIV infections and therapeutic vaccines that help the immune system fight existing infection.

While the field has seen some signs of progress in recent years, there is still no consistently effective HIV vaccine. Yet while many researchers and advocates have turned their attention to other biomedical prevention methods like antiretroviral treatment-as-prevention and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), some experts maintain that only an effective preventive vaccine can control the spread of HIV worldwide.

Several studies evaluating new vaccine regimens are being initiated in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in parts of the U.S. and South America, according to HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) principle investigator Larry Corey. HVTN is also working on an approach called antibody mediated prevention and will be starting a trial of bi-monthly broadly neutralizing antibodies in partnership with the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN).

"Our goal is to develop a vaccine that will make a dent in the epidemic for all high risk groups globally," Corey states. "With an estimated 2 million new infections in the coming year alone, we know our best long term hope for a sustainable end to the spread of HIV is a safe and effective vaccine, and I can see the finish line."  




L Corey, HIV Vaccine Trials Network. HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. 2015.