Researchers and scientists gathered in Madrid, Spain, yesterday unveiled a five-year strategy named The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise Strategic Plan (2018-2023), aimed at accelerating the development of an effective vaccine to prevent new HIV infections.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The researchers, drawn from around the world, are attending the HIV research for prevention (HIVR4P 2018) Conference, the world’s only scientific conference dedicated exclusively to biomedical HIV prevention.
International Aids Society (IAS) president Anton Pozniak said the strategy will present an opportunity to address some of the most significant challenges in HIV vaccine development.
He said the new strategy will evaluate current opportunities, challenges in HIV vaccine research and development.
Pozniak said the new strategy advances the ongoing partnerships between IAS and the world’s largest association of HIV professionals and the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, which promotes co-ordination, collaboration and resource mobilisation to accelerate HIV vaccine development.
“While the HIV vaccine landscape offers greater scientific promise than ever before, the field also faces real challenges in terms of aligning scientific priorities, developing the smartest and most effective research studies, maintaining funding and engaging and maximising the contributions of all global stakeholders in the search for a vaccine,” he added.
South African Research Council president Glenda Grey said the plan captures the promise and challenges of a unique and exciting moment in HIV vaccine development.
Zimbabwe is one of the African countries with the highest number of patients on HIV treatment and the development of a new effective vaccine will help lowering the effects of the disease.
The country is represented by Mike Chirenje from the University of Zimbabwe who is also co-chair of the conference.