May 18th Is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

Armen Hareyan's picture

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

May 18, 2007 marks the 10th annual HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, an opportunity to reflect upon the more than two decades of progress worldwide in the search for a safe and effective HIV vaccine.


Today, many challenges remain, but we look forward with optimism as the HIV vaccine candidates in clinical trials today are among the most promising we have seen.

These clinical trials, as well as efforts to design the next generation of candidate vaccines, are essential to developing a safe and effective vaccine to help eradicate the modern-day plague of HIV/AIDS. The urgency of finding a safe and effective HIV vaccine is underscored by sobering statistics: Forty million people are currently living with HIV infection. Every day, another 11,000 individuals become infected with HIV, most of whom live in resource-poor countries. Last year alone, it is estimated that more than 40,000 individuals in the United States were infected with HIV. In this country, available data indicate that approximately two-thirds of new HIV diagnoses occur among African Americans and Hispanics, and more than one-quarter of new HIV diagnoses are in women.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health initiated the first HIV vaccine trial in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1987. Since then, the Institute has worked with its partners to conduct a variety of vaccine clinical trials that have enrolled more than 26,000 volunteers. In the coming years, several major trials testing different vaccine candidates and approaches will be completed. Results of two ongoing efficacy trials