Director’s Note, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, HHS:
Scientific advances have given us the tools we need to end new HIV infections and save lives. But our work is not yet done, either here in the U.S. or around the world. As we approach the observance of World AIDS Day on December 1 and take stock of our progress and the work that remains, we are reminded of the important role an HIV vaccine could play. The vital NIH-supported research described in this blog on a preventive vaccine that began enrolling participants in South Africa this week could eventually help us save millions of lives. – Dr. Richard Wolitski
In the lead-up to World AIDS Day, join AIDS.gov for a Facebook Live conversation with Carl Dieffenbach, Ph.D., Director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), about the new HIV vaccine trial (HVTN 702) that got underway this week in Cape Town, South Africa.
“For the first time in seven years, the scientific community is embarking on a large-scale clinical trial of an HIV vaccine, the product of years of study and experimentation,” said NIAID Director, Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
This clinical trial is now testing whether an experimental vaccine regimen safely prevents HIV infection among South African adults. The HVTN 702 study involves a new version of the only HIV vaccine candidate ever shown to provide some protection against the virus. It is the only current HIV vaccine efficacy trial in the world.
“A safe and effective vaccine would be critical to ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” said Dr. Dieffenbach. “This effort isn’t just the work of scientists — the global community must be involved in order to make sure that an HIV vaccine and other prevention tools are developed to meet the needs of those at greatest risk for HIV infection. We’ll be reaching out via Facebook Live on Wednesday Nov 30 to share and connect on these issues.”
When: Wednesday, November 30, at 2:00 p.m. (ET).
How: Follow the AIDS.gov Facebook page and you will receive a “notification” in the top right corner when this event is about to start. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can still watch the Facebook Live on our page, but you won’t be able to share comments or reactions during the live stream.
- Learn more about Facebook Live and how can you use it to amplify your HIV messages.
- Watch our recent Facebook Live videos that feature the latest HIV research, conference updates, and voices from the community.
- Read Dr. Fauci’s statement on HIV Vaccine Awareness Day.
- Watch this new NIAID video about why an HIV vaccine is important.
What is HVTN 702 and why is it important?
Earlier this year, findings from an early-stage HIV vaccine clinical trial in South Africa showed that a vaccine candidate produced expected immune responses in volunteers who received the test product. Based on those results, NIAID and its partners have decided to advance the experimental HIV vaccine regimen into a large clinical trial.
This new study, HVTN 702, is designed to determine whether the regimen is safe, tolerable and effective at preventing HIV infection among South African adults. As the largest and most advanced HIV vaccine trial ever to launch in South Africa, it is a testament to both the significant HIV burden in that country (1,000 new infections per day) and capacity for groundbreaking research in the region. The trial will provide important insights on which immune response(s) correlate with vaccine efficacy, which could greatly accelerate other vaccine development studies.