The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) applauds the UNAIDS-Lancet Commission’s call for the world to urgently step up efforts to expand access to HIV/AIDS treatment and to “get serious” about prevention, including supporting development of an HIV vaccine.
Without these stepped-up efforts, the world will “risk the epidemic rebounding” and “face more HIV infections and deaths than five years ago,” the Commission warns in a report published 25 June that emphasizes the urgent needs to protect human rights, widen access to antiretroviral treatment, and efficiently, transparently and accountably mobilize resources for HIV and health.
IAVI particularly welcomes the Commission’s call for sustainable funding of research toward a range of approaches to a preventive vaccine as well as a cure.
“Treatment and prevention have made major advances in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but a safe, effective vaccine is essential to rid the world of this scourge once and for all, particularly among vulnerable and marginalized people and groups,” said IAVI CEO Margie McGlynn, citing modeling that shows an effectively rolled-out vaccine providing 70 percent protection could avert up to 42 million infections by 2070.
“There is tremendous energy and optimism in AIDS vaccine research today,” McGlynn added. “IAVI continues to work hand-in-hand with the people and communities who need a vaccine the most. We remain committed to supporting African scientists to play a leading role in the groundbreaking research that will bring Africa and the world an AIDS vaccine and help meet other global health challenges for many years to come.”
The Commission, established by UNAIDS and The Lancet in early 2013, brings together 38 heads of state and political leaders, HIV and health experts, young people, activists, scientists, and private sector representatives to ensure that lessons learned in the AIDS response can be applied to transform how countries and partners approach health and development.