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AVAC in the News

  • In June, we reported that PEPFAR, the $7 billion US global-AIDS relief program started by President George W. Bush in 2003, had been leaderless for more than a year. This left global AIDS advocates worried that the program was losing momentum and focus, especially amid the new global pandemic of COVID-19.

    October 12, 2021
  • Researchers plan to use a series of shots to teach people’s immune systems to produce powerful antibody responses against the virus. But while the strategy is raising hopes and is built on years of research, there’s no guarantee it succeeds.

    October 7, 2021
    San Diego Union-Tribune
  • Just how will the Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC) run after its famed leader John Nkengasong leaves? The answer may not be apparent, but the Cameroonian-American virologist, who has recently become the face of Africa’s campaign for vaccine equity, could be departing the organisation soon.

    September 28, 2021
    The East African
  • For the first time in its 18-year history, the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) will be headed by an African public health leader, according to a report in the New York Times. President Joe Biden plans to appoint John Nkengasong, MD, as head of the federal agency that serves people living with HIV worldwide.

    September 27, 2021
  • United States President Joe Biden is reportedly nominating Dr. John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, to head the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a $7 billion operation. The US government initiative has been without a leader since February. The Cameroonian virologist would be the first person from the African continent to head the program.

    September 22, 2021
  • Vaccines were promoted as a silver bullet to end the pandemic, the path to finally beating COVID-19. But in Africa, they remain scarce, with access hampered by hoarding, export bans and empty promises. Nearly six billion vaccine doses have been administered globally, but only two percent of those have been in Africa.

    September 21, 2021
    France 24
  • The Biden administration plans to nominate John Nkengasong, a virologist and director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to lead the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, according to several sources familiar with the matter.

    September 21, 2021
    New York Times
  • As new HIV prevention products are introduced, demand for integrated HIV/SRH services is likely to grow. Investing in HIV/SRH integration can help to ensure sustainable, government-led responses to the HIV epidemic, streamline service delivery and improve the health outcomes and lives of AGYW.

    September 15, 2021
    General, PrEP
    Gates Open Research
  • At the end of August, disappointing results were released from Imbokodo, a phase IIb clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of an HIV vaccine candidate developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Among cisgender women recruited in five African countries, the vaccine regimen didn’t offer significant protection against acquisition of HIV infection. The outcome underscores the difficulty of inducing protective immunity against HIV compared to other pathogens, and highlights the importance of making effective biomedical prevention options—oral or injectable pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and the dapavirine ring—accessible to those in need, including women in the communities where Imbokodo took place.

    September 13, 2021
    Treatment Action Group
  • The news on Aug. 31 was devastating: After a decade of research and development, Johnson & Johnson announced that its experimental HIV vaccine showed no clear ability to prevent infection. Such was the unhappy end of the so-called Imbokodo study—the word means a “grinding rock” in Zulu and is attached to a famous saying about the strength of women. ... The results showed 63 new HIV infections among the women who got the placebo and 51 among women who got the vaccine—hardly a big enough difference to suggest that the vaccine was a grand slam.

    September 9, 2021
    The Body