News / Africa

Scientists Gather for AIDS Vaccine 2011

Scientists Gather for AIDS Vaccine 2011
Scientists Gather for AIDS Vaccine 2011
Joe DeCapua

The largest conference on AIDS vaccine development is being held in Bangkok, Thailand FROM September 12th to the 15th.  Researchers will discuss how to build on recent advances in a time of tight budgets.

Organizers of the conference, known as AV-2011, say a “safe and effective AIDS vaccine would be one of the greatest public health advances ever.” But they also admit it’s one of the “greatest scientific challenges.”

“This year’s meeting is particularly important in that the field’s at a very interesting place scientifically and institutionally in many respects. And this becomes a meeting where we will really get a sense of the enthusiasm that is clearly in the scientific community right now,” said

Mitchell Warren, head of AVAC, the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, who’s attending the Bangkok conference.

Getting back in the spotlight

Much of the public attention on AIDS vaccine research has been diverted in recent months to what’s happening in prevention. Studies show that antiretroviral drugs – when taken by an infected person – can prevent HIV transmission to a non-infected person. They also show that non HIV infected people can take the drugs as a preventive measure known as pre-exposure prophylaxis.

But while there have been prevention advances, vaccine researchers are beginning new work to find what are called broadly neutralizing antibodies. If successful, these antibodies would be able to block the many, many different strains of HIV that now exist.

And Warren said there was the success in 2009 of the RV-144 trial in Thailand. It proved that an AIDS vaccine is possible. It was the largest AIDS vaccine trial ever, with thousands of participants.

“We got the result two years ago, but it’s not as if that trial ended. For the last two years, an international team of collaborators has been looking at the samples that were collected during the course of that trial to try to assess why that vaccine worked at all. When we got the result two years ago the community was excited, but kind of not sure why that vaccine worked. And many vaccines that we use in our public health systems, we actually don’t know why they work or how they work,” he said.

Working together

In the early days of AIDS vaccine research, collaboration was not as common as it is today. In fact, many believed the sharing of data could hurt a researcher’s chances of publishing the work and receiving credit for it.

Warren said, “One of the things that has most excited me as an advocate for AIDS vaccines over the last couple of years is not only the scientific progress, but I think even more than that (is) the level of collaboration and coordination. For example, the collaborators coming out of RV-144 include over a hundred investigators in labs all over the world. People who might be seen as competitors in some ways are all collaborating to try to understand why we got the signal in RV-144 that we did.”

Warren is hopeful that collaboration and momentum can continue as budgets get tighter and tighter.

You May Like

Multimedia Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

update Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid