African AIDS Vaccine Programme launched

New initiative aims to develop a vaccine against the HIV subtype most prevalent in Africa.

Jacqui Wise(patjacq@mweb.co.za)
Jun 11, 2002

CAPE TOWN — African scientists gathered in Cape Town this month to coordinate research into finding a cheap, effective and safe vaccine for the HIV strains common to Africa. The African AIDS Vaccine Programme (AAVP), set up under the auspices of the World Health Organization and UNAIDS, aims to coordinate the efforts of national vaccine research progammes with the goal of bringing a vaccine to market within ten years.

"A vaccine for Africa would be the best long term preventative measure against AIDS," said Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS. "Enormous efforts should go into this initiative, which could help address the health and development tragedy that AIDS has become for many African countries."

Although more than 28 million Africans are HIV positive, less than 2% of world research funding goes towards fighting the viral subtypes most common in Africa. Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, head of the Medical Research Council...

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