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AVAC in the News

  • An HIV vaccine candidate trialed in Sub-Saharan Africa offers no substantial protection against HIV infection among young women, the study organisers say. According to a statement released this week (31 August) by Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the US drugmaker that produced the HIV vaccine candidate, the mid-stage Imbokodo study began in 2017, reached full enrollment in 2019 and completed vaccinations on 30 June 2020.

    September 3, 2021
  • The results [of HVTN 705, known as the Imbokodo study] are frustrating, said Carl Dieffenbach, PhD, director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). To clinicians, Dieffenbach said the message of this HIV vaccine trial is flush with urgency: "Get your HIV-negative, at-risk people on PrEP tomorrow."

    September 2, 2021
  • For decades, a successful HIV vaccine has been an elusive concept for scientists and activists. During the last two years, research regarding HIV/AIDS hasn't garnered as much media attention largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But just because it hasn't grabbed as many headlines, doesn't mean it isn't still a prevalent issue today. According to the UNAIDS, in 2020, 1.5 million people around the world were newly infected and 680,000 died due to AIDS-related illnesses.

    September 1, 2021
  • An advanced HIV vaccine trial in Africa has been shut down after data showed the shots offered only limited protection against the virus, researchers announced on Tuesday. The vaccine, made by Johnson & Johnson, is one in a long line found to offer little defense against HIV, one of medicine’s most intractable adversaries.

    August 31, 2021
    New York Times
  • Johnson & Johnson stopped a mid-stage test of its HIV vaccine in southern Africa after the shot showed insufficient ability to protect people from contracting the virus. The trial, called Imbokodo, showed the vaccine was just 25 percent effective in preventing HIV infection over a period of two years, short of a goal of 50% efficacy, according to a statement. A similar vaccine developed by the drugmaker will continue being tested in Europe and the Americas in a final-stage study called Mosaico, Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer, said.

    August 31, 2021
  • In June, Bhekisisa started doing research for an article that would explain how well Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine works and to gauge whether it would be suitable for use in South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. Soon enough, it was realised Sputnik V had flouted the rules of every part of the system that produces scientific research.

    August 24, 2021
    Daily Maverick
  • During the pandemic, researchers and academic journals have gone into hyperdrive in order to produce research at an accelerated pace. This means some sacrifices have been made when it comes to vetting and checking publications through peer review. The peer-review system was already flawed even in pre-pandemic times but the current environment has exposed ways in which bad science can slip through.

    August 20, 2021
    Health 24
  • Transgender and gender diverse activists and researchers, in partnership with the advocacy organisation AVAC, introduced a powerful manifesto to align HIV prevention research with their current realities and needs, entitled No Data No More at the 11th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2021) this week.

    July 22, 2021
  • Transgender women experience higher rates of HIV than most other populations. Globally, it’s estimated that 19 percent of trans women are living with HIV, 49 times the general population; conversely, not much is known about HIV among transgender men and nonbinary people. Given these facts, why aren’t more transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) people included in HIV-related research and prevention efforts?

    July 19, 2021
  • Almost one in five trans women globally are living with HIV – 49 times greater than the general population – while HIV in trans men is woefully understudied. Yet trans and gender-diverse (TGD) people are “frequently and often systematically left out of HIV prevention research and responses”, according to No Data No More, a global HIV prevention manifesto launched on Monday with the support of the non-profit HIV prevention organisation, AVAC.

    July 19, 2021
    Health Policy Watch