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HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

May 18 is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD), an annual call to action for advocates, researchers and policy makers—and an opportunity to take stock of the status of vaccine research, what the field has learned and what lies ahead in the global effort to develop an HIV vaccine.

Just two years ago, for HVAD 2020, AVAC highlighted the connections between COVID-19 and HIV, and outlined their implications in Five “P”s to Watch. Two years later, those insights on “Platforms, Process, Partnerships, Payers and Participatory Practices that Drive Vaccine Development” remain critical. The field has continued to build on those insights as it considers priorities for the HIV vaccine field today—and tomorrow.

Because recent results from major HIV vaccine trials have had disappointments and reframed the questions the field must ask, we all need to act with urgency to develop new and faster models for advancing HIV vaccine science that can adapt quickly to what is learned. And the field must continue to push new models for equitably delivering the fruits of that science.

So, this HVAD, the “P”s continue to evolve. AVAC has created resources and programming to inform your advocacy, kicking off with a series of conversations to reframe and re-energize the search for an HIV vaccine, the four “P”s of progress in HIV vaccine R&D: platforms and pipelines, processes and prospects. Check out our new resources below and join us for our HVAD webinar series this month.

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HIV vaccine science is at a crossroads. New science, new findings from recent phase III trials that ended without efficacy, innovations learned from COVID-19 vaccines, and new approaches to trial design are all contributing to a period of innovation and transition in HIV vaccine development. Long-time advocate, AVAC co-founder and senior advisor Bill Snow, wrote a recent blog post, An HIV Vaccine: The challenges ahead, framing these issues and drawing highlights from the webinar series AVAC convened earlier this year.

A new Viewpoint in JIAS authored by IAVI’s Kundai Chinyenze, Imperial College’s Robin Shattock, Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation’s Ntando Yola and AVAC’s Mitchell Warren and Stacey Hannah, discusses the way forward for HIV vaccine development, in the context of recent trials and new initiatives. This includes findings from antibody-mediated prevention trials, and new efforts in germline targeting, and the mRNA technologies.

Review AVAC’s New Resources


The series is be chaired by long-time HIV vaccine advocate and AVAC co-founder Bill Snow and moderated by AVAC’s Director of Research Engagement Stacey Hannah:

  • Platforms & Pipelines
    Wednesday May 18, 2022
    The miracle of mRNA: What’s possible beyond SARS-CoV-2—understanding mRNA, its history, and potential challenges for HIV vaccines. With Bart Haynes (Duke University), Nina Russel (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and Ntando Yola (Desmond Tutu Health Foundation and Advocacy for Prevention of HIV and AIDS [APHA]).
    Recording and Slides: YouTube / Nina Russell's Slides / Bart Haynes Slides
  • Processes
    Tuesday May 24, 2022
    The changed landscape of clinical research: the potential for experimental medicine vaccine trials in the current research environment. With Gail Broder (HVTN), Pontiano Kaleebu (MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit) and Robin Shattock (Imperial College London).
    Recording and Slides: YouTube / Robin Shattock's Slides / Gail Broder's Slides / Pontiano Kaleebu's Slides
  • Prospects
    Tuesday May 31, 2022 @ 10:00am EDT
    What have we learned, why it matters and what it means? Understanding recent results in HIV vaccine research and implications for the future. Unpacking results from Uhambo and Imbokodo trials and understanding the implications for the current pipeline of products. With Galit Alter (Harvard University), William Kilembe (Zambia-Emory HIV Research Project, ZEHRP), Ethel Makila (IAVI) and Dale Hu (NIH).
    Recording: YouTube


AVAC’s Jeanne Baron looks at some of the key scientific challenges an HIV vaccine will have to overcome in another installment of the PxPulse podcast series Research Fundamentals. In this podcast, Avenir Health’s Katharine Kripke, Caltech’s Pamela Bjorkman and IAVI’s Vincent Muturi-Kioi explain key concepts.

And One More Webinar from Our Partners

Also on Wednesday, May 18th, join the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation in partnership with APHA, AVAC and other partners for an additional webinar looking at progress in HIV vaccine research featuring DTHF’s Linda Gail-Bekker and AVAC’s Maureen Luba.

We hope you’ll review our new resources and take part in these HVAD 2022 webinars.

And stay tuned for more HVAD resources and perspectives to come out later in the week!