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IAVI E-Newsletter: Summer Issue
U.K. Government Pledges Renewed Funding to Support IAVI’s Quest for Effective & Accessible AIDS Vaccines to Aid HIV Vaccine Design
On 22 August 2013, IAVI was pleased to announce the renewed commitment from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), which confirmed a grant to IAVI of £1 million ($1.57 million) annually for the next five years. Together with the contributions of other governments as well as foundations and other philanthropic supporters, DFID investments over the last 15 years have already helped IAVI to build a comprehensive portfolio of AIDS vaccine approaches and candidates. Over the next five years, the funding from the U.K. Government will allow IAVI to bring together expertise from academia and the pharmaceutical sector, and from across regions, including the U.K. and Eastern and Southern Africa, to collaboratively design and evaluate novel vaccine candidates, with the aim to deliver proof that at least one can be fully developed into an effective vaccine to help prevent HIV infection or AIDS.
 
Resource Tracking Working Group Calls for Continued Investment in HIV Prevention Research
On 1 July 2013, the HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group released its 9th annual report titled From Research to Reality: Investing in HIV Prevention Research in a Challenging Environment at the 7th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Kuala Lumpur. The report shows that funding for HIV prevention research has essentially plateaued, yet steady progress in research and development for HIV vaccines, pre-exposure prophylaxis using antiretroviral drugs (PrEP), and treatment as prevention have confirmed the critical role science has to play in providing solutions to halt new infections and ultimately end the AIDS pandemic. The report highlights how essential continued investment in HIV prevention research is to speed the development of these critical new options.

Partners for this project are AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention (AVAC), the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the Joint United National Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
 
HIV Research Pioneer Dr. Robin Weiss Appointed Chair of IAVI’s Scientific Advisory Committee
IAVI is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Robin Weiss as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) for a three-year term effective 1 July 2013. In this capacity, Dr. Weiss will lead the 16-member Committee as it provides scientific and strategic advice and counsel for IAVI’s research and development efforts aimed at accelerating global efforts in HIV vaccine development. He will also serve as the Scientific Advisory Committee representative to the IAVI Board of Directors. Dr. Weiss is Emeritus Professor of Viral Oncology at University College London (UCL), brings a wealth of robust international biomedical research experience with him and has helped lead many renowned medical organisations in a range of board positions with organisations in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.
 
Leading Scientists Call for a Human Vaccines Project in Science
In a recent issue of Science, a group of leading scientists advocate for the creation of a Human Vaccines Project to accelerate the development of next generation vaccines against major global killers such as AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases. The Human Vaccines Project would be a new human immunology–based clinical research initiative with the goal of more effectively generating vaccine-induced protective immune responses, and would potentially fuel vaccine approaches to prevent allergies, autoimmune diseases and cancers, and provide a firm foundation for developing vaccines against new and emerging diseases. Led by IAVI’s Chief Scientific Officer Wayne Koff, the scientists surveyed new biomedical technologies that might be harnessed to advance the development of a new generation of vaccines. Koff and his co-authors argue that much more could be achieved if such studies were coordinated and combined under a single, goal-oriented programme.
 
UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Programme Publishes Study on Fisher-folk Communities in Uganda
The July 2013 issue of the Journal of the International AIDS Society featured a study conducted by IAVI’s partner, the Uganda Vaccine Research Institute (UVRI)-IAVI HIV Vaccine Programme. This study focused on the fishing communities of Lake Victoria, Uganda. Between September 2011 and March 2013, the UVRI-IAVI programme conducted a community-based study to determine representative HIV rates and willingness to participate in hypothetical vaccine trials among fisher-folk communities. A random sample was collected from eight fishing villages in the region and interview data were collected on HIV risk behaviours and willingness to participate in vaccine trials. At the same time, HIV counseling and testing were conducted. The results of the study showed a high overall HIV prevalence of 26.7%, with women having a much higher prevalence than men (32.6% vs. 20.8%), and bar/restaurant workers having the highest prevalence at 37%. The study also demonstrated that fishing community members have high levels of willingness to participate in future HIV vaccine trials (89.3%). This study adds to more emerging evidence that, in addition to commercial sex workers, fishing communities in Uganda are high HIV-burdened groups and have high willingness to participate in future HIV vaccine trials.
 
Saluting Nelson Mandela, A Champion of AIDS Awareness
 
As a testament to Nelson Mandela’s stature as a leader and icon of human rights, the United Nations in 2009 named 18 July (Mandela’s birthday) an annual international day of celebration known as “Mandela Day”. As the first democratically elected President of South Africa and a celebrated international humanitarian leader, Mandela has also made historic contributions to AIDS awareness in South Africa and around the world. IAVI honours Nelson Mandela for his vital work promoting inclusion and respect for human dignity, and advocating for the rights of all South Africans. The contributions South Africa has made to HIV prevention research and AIDS vaccine development will help IAVI realise its vision of a world without AIDS.
 
Stay Tuned:  The AIDS Vaccine 2013 Conference
On 7–10 October 2013 in Barcelona, Spain, the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise will host the AIDS Vaccine 2013 Conference. Please check IAVI’s special website section for highlights at the conference including a list of scheduled posters and presentations by IAVI staff and its partners. Throughout the week, check out coverage of the latest science presented on the IAVI Report blog, as well as IAVI’s updates from the conference via Twitter and Facebook.
 
IAVI In The News
Top 20 HIV/AIDS Charities, About.com names IAVI in top 20 charity listing, August 2013

Kenya, Rwanda and U.K. in Joint HIV/Aids Vaccine Trial, featuring IAVI partner Omu Anzala of the Kenya Aids Vaccine Initiative (KAVI), The East African, 17 August 2013

Profile: IAVI—Searching for the Achilles’ Heel of HIV, featuring IAVI Human Immunology Laboratory Executive Director Jill Gilmour, The Lancet, 15 June 2013

After HVTN 505: What Now? A Q&A with Dr. Wayne C. Koff, featuring IAVI CSO Wayne Koff, appearing in The Black AIDS Institute Newsletter, 1 June 2013

New Bid to Find HIV Vaccine Begins in London Hospital, featuring IAVI Human Immunology Laboratory Executive Director Jill Gilmour, BBC News, 30 May 2013

AIDS: Are We a Step Closer to an AIDS Vaccine?, featuring IAVI Human Immunology Laboratory Executive Director Jill Gilmour, Channel 4 News (U.K.), 30 May 2013


IAVI'S EFFICIENCY 


Eight-four percent of IAVI's revenue is dedicated to program costs. IAVI consistently demonstrates efficient management of resources, earning Charity Navigator three-star rating for good financial management, effectiveness, and transparency.



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