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AVAC in the News

  • In a little under a year, scientists developed several vaccines against COVID-19. But as we line up for our shots, we are still living in the shadow of another pandemic. The search for a vaccine against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has been ongoing for nearly four decades. To this day, only one large-scale trial has demonstrated even marginal efficacy at preventing infection from the virus: the RV144 trial in Thailand—the largest HIV vaccine trial in history.

    May 8, 2021
    JSTOR Daily
  • A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Heartland Alliance, has expressed worry about the alarming HIV infections in Nigeria, currently at 100,000 per day. Mr. Michael Akanji, a resource person, speaking at a media roundtable organised by the NGO and the AVAC 2020/2021 Fellowship Programme at the weekend in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, decried the continued high rating of Akwa Ibom in HIV Prevalence Rating in the country.

    May 3, 2021
    The Nation
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has lasted only slightly more than a year; the AIDS epidemic, by contrast, now spans decades. Just as AIDS has taken more than 670,000 lives in this country, scientists have long dreamed of a day when they could inoculate the population against HIV, the virus which causes the deadly disease.

    April 9, 2021
  • In February 2020, just as the COVID pandemic began its rapid global spread, a major HIV vaccine trial called HVTN 702, or Uhambo, was halted for lack of efficacy. Researchers and advocates had high hopes for Uhambo, building as it did on the RV144 trial, which provided the first evidence that an HIV vaccine could create a partially protective immune response. But Uhambo, like several studies before it, ended in disappointment.

    April 7, 2021
    Science Speaks
  • In the shut-down world of COVID-19, medical science conferences take place virtually—and protests do, too. Such was the case this week during the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2021), which from March 6 to March 10 featured breaking, clinically important research on HIV and the novel coronavirus.

    March 11, 2021
    The BodyPro
  • Crises have a habit of accelerating history, including the pace of technological advancement. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Vaccines were developed, safely but with unprecedented efficiency, less than a year after the WHO declared a global pandemic.

    February 23, 2021
    Vaccines Today
  • In a bid to include ethical considerations in the HIV prevention trial process UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation recently launched a new guidance document for ethical consideration for HIV prevention trials. The guidance among other things, calls for the inclusion of communities that live in settings where trials are taking place as equal partners.

    February 12, 2021
  • Results of a “proof of concept” study presented at the virtual 4th HIV Research for Prevention Conference last week showed that one particular broadly neutralising monoclonal antibody (bNAb) – called VRC01 – prevented HIV infection in over 70 percent of people exposed to strains of HIV that is sensitive to this particular bNAb.

    February 8, 2021
    Antibody Related Research, Cure
  • This year's HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) virtual conference featured a large number of sessions examining PrEP usage and discontinuation rates among a variety of users, especially in Africa. Many of the presentations looked at factors that worked as incentives to keep taking PrEP. There is interest in this because, despite higher initiation rates in a larger number of countries than ever before, the retention rates (also called persistence rates) of people in PrEP programmes in the region remain very low.

    February 8, 2021
  • HIV science has advanced but policies and programmes have been slow to respond towards ending AIDS, said Mitchell Warren, co-chair of the global conference on HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) and Executive Director of AVAC.

    February 7, 2021