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A much-needed shot in the arm for HIV vaccine development

International efforts towards developing a vaccine against HIV infection have been given a much-needed boost by the publication today of the Global HIV/AIDS Vaccine Enterprise's scientific strategic plan, published online in the freely available, open-access global health journal PLoS Medicine. The Global HIV/AIDS Vaccine Enterprise is an international alliance of independent agencies and organizations conducting or supporting HIV vaccine research. In June 2004, the G8 countries endorsed its goals, and will consider the new plan at its forthcoming summit meeting in the United Kingdom this July.

The coordinating committee of the plan reads like a "who's who" of global AIDS experts, including Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health; Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS; and Pascoal Mocumbi, former Prime Minister of Mozambique and Representative of the European Developing Country Clinical Trials Partnership. The Enterprise partners include many of the world's top AIDS vaccine funding and advocacy organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the US National Institutes of Health, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and the AIDS Vaccines Advocacy Coalition. The plan, developed with the collaboration of over 140 scientists worldwide, identifies the major scientific roadblocks facing HIV vaccine development, outlines a strategic approach to addressing them, and proposes an innovative collaborative model that ensures that researchers across the globe are harnessing their efforts towards a common goal. "Development of an HIV vaccine remains one of the most difficult challenges confronting biomedical research today," write the plan's authors, but fortunately "scientific progress has created new opportunities that could be harnessed more effectively through global coordination and collaboration." "These new opportunit
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Source:PLoS Medicine


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