IAVI and its partners strive to provide information to communities affected by HIV, particularly in developing countries, about AIDS vaccine development and the rights and responsibilities of participation in such research. These HIV vaccine literacy efforts help create an atmosphere supportive of vaccine development, prepare communities for the conduct of HIV vaccine research and help people make genuinely informed decisions about whether or not they will participate in those studies.
IAVI and its partners promote vaccine literacy in a broad range of audiences, including clinical research volunteers, advocates, medical professionals and journalists. In support of such work, IAVI’s VaxLit initiative has created a toolkit that advocates and research center staff can use to inform others about AIDS vaccine development and the processes essential to its rigorous and ethical conduct.
The VaxLit Toolkit—which includes a reference manual, a participatory training guide, fact sheets, PowerPoint slides and a user guide—is written in language accessible to people with minimal education and no scientific background. It can be adapted to suit various cultural and linguistic contexts and is intended for use by the HIV and AIDS field at large, not just IAVI and its affiliated research centers.
IAVI and its partners use the toolkit to inform civil society groups about AIDS vaccine R&D, train trainers working in other HIV intervention programs, and to educate Community Advisory Board members, medical professionals and staff at clinical research centers.