HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
May 18, 2010
May 18 is the 13th annual observance of HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. This day provides an opportunity to recognize the volunteers, health professionals, and scientists working together toward finding an HIV vaccine. This day is also an opportunity to educate communities across the United States about the importance of HIV vaccine research.
Two types of HIV vaccine candidates are currently being studied in clinical trials. Therapeutic HIV vaccine candidates are designed to treat HIV-infected people. Preventive HIV vaccine candidates are designed to prevent HIV infection in people who do not already have HIV. Even though no HIV vaccines are currently available or approved by the Food and Drug Administration, significant research is under way to develop an effective vaccine.
An important and widely publicized breakthrough in HIV vaccine research occurred in 2009, when a combination regimen of preventive HIV vaccine candidates showed modest effectiveness. Results of the Thai Phase III HIV vaccine clinical trial (also known as RV144), conducted by the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), indicated that the vaccine regimen was 31% effective in preventing HIV infection. Follow-up research is seeking ways to increase and extend the immune response of this vaccine regimen.
Each year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of AIDS Research (OAR) develops a Trans-NIH Plan for HIV-Related Research. Chapter 2 of the 2010 plan addresses preventive research, including preventive vaccine candidates and Chapter 3 focuses on treatment research, including therapeutic vaccine candidates.
Research Objectives for Preventive HIV Vaccine Candidates:
- Conduct basic research on protective immune responses and host defenses to facilitate the development of effective preventive vaccine candidates
- Design and develop preventive HIV vaccine candidates; conduct preclinical laboratory testing and testing in animals; and foster collaboration with government, nongovernmental, academic, and private organizations and agencies
- Identify mechanisms of protective immunity to HIV in newborns and infants and develop safe and effective study designs to test HIV vaccine strategies in this population
- Conduct Phase I, II, and III vaccine trials, testing for safety, immune response, and efficacy in the United States and internationally
- Develop strategies, infrastructure, and collaboration necessary for conducting preventive HIV vaccine candidate trials
Research Objectives for Therapeutic HIV Vaccine Candidates:
- Discover and develop new anti-HIV treatment strategies, including therapeutic HIV vaccine candidates, that target viral and host factors involved in HIV transmission, infection, replication, and persistence and that can prevent and treat drug-resistant strains of HIV
- Conduct clinical trials of new methods of HIV treatment, including therapeutic HIV vaccine candidates, with state-of-the-art antiretroviral therapies
- Develop and evaluate new therapeutic vaccine candidate strategies for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of coinfections in HIV-infected children, adolescents, and adults
- Develop and assess strategies to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, which may include therapeutic HIV vaccine candidates used alone or in combination with other medicines
- Evaluate the impact of therapeutic vaccine candidates on the prevention of sexual, noninjection drug use, or injection drug use transmission of HIV while preserving treatment integrity for HIV-infected individuals
- Develop and assess therapeutic HIV vaccine candidates that will restore, sustain, and enhance a competent immune system in HIV-infected individuals
The links on this page provide information about HIV Vaccine Awareness Day and resources about preventive and therapeutic HIV vaccine candidates.
HIV Vaccine Resources
The Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center (VRC): NIAID facility that conducts research focused on facilitating the development of effective vaccines for human disease. The primary focus of research at the VRC is the development of HIV vaccine candidates.
NIAID Page on HIV/AIDS Vaccine Candidates: Information and news on the development of HIV vaccine candidates.
HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) Web Site: International collaboration of scientists and educators searching for an effective and safe preventive HIV vaccine.
Be the Generation: An HIV vaccine research education initiative with information about how to get involved in HIV vaccine clinical trials, research news, and other resources, from the Division of AIDS, NIAID.
U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP): MHRP works to protect U.S. troops from infection and reduce the global impact of HIV. Its primary focus is developing a globally effective HIV-1 vaccine.
Partnerships for AIDS Vaccine Evaluation: A voluntary consortium of U.S. government agencies and key U.S. government-funded organizations involved in developing, evaluating, and conducting preventive HIV/AIDS vaccine clinical trials.
The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise: An alliance of independent organizations from around the world dedicated to accelerating the development of a preventive HIV vaccine.
AIDSinfo provides information on HIV/AIDS treatment and research:
HIV/AIDS Treatment Guidelines: HHS recommendations for the treatment of people infected with HIV.
HIV Vaccine Information: Links to HIV vaccine clinical trials and vaccine fact sheets:
HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials: Database of clinical trials designed to help patients and health care providers locate trials studying HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS Drug Information: Database of fact sheets on HIV/AIDS-related drugs.
Glossary of HIV/AIDS-Related Terms: Definitions of medical and scientific terms related to HIV/AIDS and its treatment.
Live Help: One-on-one assistance via the Internet to help people navigate the AIDSinfo Web site and get federally approved information on HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention research, HIV/AIDS clinical trials, and treatment guidelines. Assistance is also available by calling 800-448-0440.