June 09, 2004
NEW YORK, June 9, 2004--The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) applauds the Group of Eight Industrialized Nations (G8) for including HIV/AIDS--and specifically a preventive vaccine—on the agenda for this year's summit in Sea Island, Georgia. AIDS and polio eradication are the two international health topics on the agenda.
The G8 is expected to endorse the creation of a Global AIDS Vaccine Enterprise, an alliance of agencies working to develop a preventive AIDS vaccine. The Enterprise, of which IAVI is a founding member, is intended to accelerate progress by promoting international public-private collaboration; it is being patterned after the Human Genome Project, which brought together public and private sector researchers to map the human genetic code.
A new level of global collaboration in AIDS vaccine research and development is critical, so that the most promising vaccine candidates, regardless of country of origin, are prioritized for human testing.
IAVI urges G8 member countries to heed UN Special Envoy Stephen Lewis’s recent call to increase to 10% the share of global AIDS spending devoted to a vaccine, from the current 2–3%. A number of G8 governments are investing in vaccine research and development; however, substantially increased resources are needed. In addition, IAVI urges G8 countries to provide incentives for greater private sector participation in vaccine development.
Political and financial leadership is critical to accelerating the development of a preventive AIDS vaccine. With 14,000 new HIV infections every day, ending the epidemic must be a top priority for G8 countries, and for the world.
About IAVI: IAVI is a global not-for-profit organization working to accelerate the development of a preventive AIDS vaccine. Founded in 1996 and operational in 23 countries, IAVI and its network of collaborators research and develop vaccine candidates. IAVI also works to assure that a vaccine will be accessible to everyone who needs it. IAVI’s major financial supporters include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Rockefeller, Sloan and Starr foundations; the World Bank; BD (Becton, Dickinson & Co.); the European Union; and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.