Together, We Can Achieve a World Without AIDS
May 18, 2014
Do you remember the world before HIV/AIDS? Where will you be when the shadow of this disease is finally gone?
We have seen major advances in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS - but millions of people are still becoming infected and
dying. In East and Southern Africa, 10.5 million children have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. As the number-one killer of
women of reproductive age, this epidemic takes an enormous human toll on individuals, families and communities, and an
enormous economic toll in terms of healthcare costs and lost productivity.
For every three people put on treatment, four others contract HIV. And even if sufficient funding materializes to maximize
access and adherence to existing treatment and prevention approaches, "best case" estimates are that low- and middle-income countries
will still see more than half a million new infections a year come 2050.
Adding and successfully implementing a vaccine with 60-percent efficacy could reduce new HIV infections by 25 percent in
its first decade and by almost half in 25 years, averting up to 22 million infections, according to modelling by IAVI, AVAC and
Science is closing in on an AIDS vaccine. Researchers daily learn more about how HIV changes in the body and varies by
geography; what the potential targets are on this highly elusive and mutating virus; how antibodies and our own T-cells could help
prevent and even clear HIV infection; and how different vectors might be used to make a future vaccine more effective and
longer-lasting. Studies are being prepared to build on the landmark RV144 vaccine trial; other exciting breakthroughs
are advancing development of second-generation vaccines with even higher, longer-lasting and broader efficacy, and
many new candidates are entering early development.
A vaccine will be transformative for so many people, cutting through barriers of stigma and gender inequity that stand
between many individuals and the power to protect their own health. Yet global spending on AIDS vaccine research and development has
been flat in recent years, despite the promising scientific advances. Sustained commitment will be critical to translating today's
and tomorrow's promising science into a rich pipeline of vaccine candidates with the best chance of success.
This World AIDS Vaccine Day, we stand proudly beside our many partners and supporters, and together reaffirm our commitment
to finding a vaccine that will help rid the world of HIV/AIDS.
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, IAVI works with
partners in 25 countries to research, design and develop AIDS vaccine candidates. In addition, IAVI conducts policy
analyses and serves as an advocate for the AIDS vaccine field. IAVI supports a comprehensive approach to
addressing HIV and AIDS that balances the expansion and strengthening of existing HIV-prevention and
treatment programs with targeted investments in the design and development of new tools to prevent
HIV. IAVI is dedicated to ensuring that a future AIDS vaccine will be available and accessible
to all who need it. IAVI relies on the generous donations from governments, private
individuals, corporations and foundations to carry out its mission. For more information,
see www.iavi.org .
Source: IAVI International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
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