Expanding support for HIV prevention and engaging emerging economies
From the day IAVI was established in 1996, it advocated for sustained support for AIDS vaccine development. We continued to do so in 2012, participating in a variety of initiatives to shape global health and HIV policies around the world (see introduction and timeline), model the potential impact of HIV vaccines and boost support for HIV prevention research.
IAVI and other product development partnerships (PDPs) helped convince the German Parliament in 2012 to issue a resolution "to reinforce German commitment in the field of global health and continue to take on responsibility in the field of product development for neglected and poverty-related diseases." IAVI also provided an update on HIV vaccines to the South African Development Community (SADC) HIV Prevention Working Group Meeting, to ensure vaccine R&D remains a priority in the policies of member countries.
Similarly, IAVI worked with African civil society organizations, UNAIDS and others to ensure new tools like HIV vaccines are included in Kenya's National Prevention Revolution Plan and Prevention Summit. We also helped convene a meeting of East African researchers in Uganda to share data on HIV epidemiology in fishing communities around Uganda's portion of Lake Victoria and discuss the establishment of a research consortium focused on such populations, which are often at high risk of HIV.
As part of our ongoing effort to increase the engagement of emerging economies in HIV prevention research, we helped to host the first HIV vaccine research symposium held in India, an event that attracted many political leaders, including a former president. The event coincided with the inauguration of the HVTR Laboratory established near New Delhi as part of IAVI's partnership for vaccine design with the Indian Government's Translational Health Sciences and Technology Institute. IAVI's advocacy has also been key to a budding partnership for AIDS vaccine development between Indian and South African researchers. In 2012, scientists from the two countries held a workshop to discuss issues in this area of relevance to both countries, and to begin a long-term research partnership.
IAVI supported and advocated for research on new biomedical tools for HIV prevention by engaging rural communities and enhancing rural research preparedness in regions of India where HIV occurs with relatively high prevalence. These efforts resulted in the establishment, with IAVI's support, of rural research centers and programs in Maharashtra led by the Government of India.
Providing further evidence for the impact of vaccines
In 2012, IAVI published studies with the Futures Institute examining the impact of HIV on women and girls, finding that even at moderate levels of coverage and 70% efficacy, a vaccine would prevent almost five million infections in this group over a decade. Other studies show that an HIV vaccine of 70% efficacy given to 40% of people in low- and middle- income countries could avert almost nine million infections and save almost US $80 billion in therapy costs in the first decade. Another Futures Institute-IAVI model generated in partnership with Chinese researchers shows that a vaccine deployed in Sichuan province would be similarly cost-saving and lead to a 60% decline in new infections in a decade of use. 2 more effective vaccines, if widely used, would have a far deeper impact. To provide advocates around the world access to our modeling, we also launched an online, interactive tool—available on IAVI.org—to assess a vaccine's impact based on a variety of parameters and regional settings.
Whatever those parameters might be, one message emerges consistently from the projections: the world needs an AIDS vaccine.