|Statement of Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, Margaret Johnston,
Ph.D., Assistant Director for HIV/AIDS Vaccines,
and Gary J. Nabel, M.D. Ph.D.,
Director, Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
National Institutes of Health on
HIV Vaccine Awareness Day May 18,
The 9th annual HIV Vaccine Awareness Day on May 18, 2006, serves as a somber
reminder of the more than 25 million people who have died of AIDS since the first
cases were reported nearly 25 years ago. Although research advances have greatly
extended the life expectancy of a person infected with HIV today, there is no
cure for HIV/AIDS. The 14,000 new HIV infections that occur in the world every
day underscore the urgent need for a safe and effective vaccine to prevent HIV
Basic research has helped us understand how HIV causes AIDS and how the immune
system attempts to contain infection. This knowledge has catalyzed significant
progress in the development of vaccines for HIV. Since 1987, dedicated investigators
supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
have enrolled more than 23,000 volunteers in 96 HIV vaccine clinical trials that
have tested at least 58 different vaccine candidates.
However, an effective vaccine eludes us. We must continue to accelerate efforts
in both basic and clinical research to design promising new vaccine candidates
and to test their potential for preventing HIV infection. Such research efforts
are progressing with a renewed spirit of domestic and international cooperation.
Examples of new collaborative initiatives include the Global HIV/AIDS Vaccine
Enterprise, an alliance of independent organizations around the world dedicated
to accelerating the development of a preventive HIV vaccine; the Center for HIV-AIDS
Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI), a consortium of universities and academic medical
centers with the goal of solving major problems in HIV vaccine design and development;
and the Partnership for AIDS Vaccine Evaluation (PAVE), a voluntary consortium
of U.S. government agencies and key U.S. government-funded organizations involved
in the development and evaluation of preventive HIV/AIDS vaccines, including
the conduct of HIV vaccine clinical trials. In addition, working in close partnership
with these groups, the NIAID Vaccine Research Center continues its efforts to
develop novel vaccine candidates and to evaluate their potential for inducing
Local communities also have joined the effort to develop and test HIV vaccines.
As part of NIAID’s HIV Vaccine Communications Campaign, 20 community-based organizations
across the U.S. are working to educate their communities about HIV vaccine research.
These organizations work hand-in-hand with the NIAID-sponsored HIV Vaccine Trials
Network to ensure that their communities are informed and involved in the many
aspects of clinical research. The need for volunteers to participate directly
in clinical research trials, to provide input for the research process, to educate
local communities and to bolster support for HIV vaccine research has never been
Today, we acknowledge and thank the thousands of volunteers, community members,
health professionals and scientists who conduct and participate in HIV vaccine
research. We sincerely appreciate their selfless contributions to the global
effort to find a vaccine for HIV.
On May 18, show your support for HIV vaccine research by wearing your AIDS ribbon
upside-down to symbolize a “V” for vaccines. Please take this opportunity to
learn more about HIV vaccine research and to educate someone you know about the
importance of developing a vaccine for HIV.
For more information about HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, vaccine research or HIV
Vaccine Awareness Day events at the local level, visit http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/news/events/HVAD/ or
call 1-800-HIV-0440 (bilingual English/Spanish).
Dr. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
Dr. Johnston is assistant director for HIV/AIDS vaccines at NIAID and director
of the Vaccine and Prevention Research Branch of the Division of AIDS within
NIAID. Dr. Nabel is the director of the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research
Center of NIAID.
The HIV Vaccine Communications Campaign, an initiative of the Division of AIDS,
aims to create an environment in which HIV affected communities and individuals
are more aware, educated and supportive of HIV vaccine research and have more
positive attitudes towards clinical trial volunteerism. This year’s campaign
makes broad comparisons between other great causes and the search to end the
HIV/AIDS pandemic through the discovery of a preventive HIV vaccine. The campaign
invites the public to “Be the Generation” that ends AIDS by learning more about
the search for an HIV vaccine. This new Web site was created to provide the public
with a single source of information about the campaign and preventive HIV vaccine
Learn more about the Campaign and preventive HIV vaccine research by visiting
the Web site, www.bethegeneration.org.
Media inquiries can be directed to the NIAID News Office at 301-402-1663, firstname.lastname@example.org.
NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health. NIAID supports
basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases
such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis,
malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports
research on basic immunology, transplantation and immune-related disorders,
including autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergies.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research
Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal
agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical
research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common
and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.