December 31, 2011
On December 9th, AVAC and partners will hold a congressional briefing aimed at preserving funding for the US Military HIV Research Program (MHRP). The Department of the Army is considering cutting over 70 percent of the MHRP Army research budget in 2012. The upcoming briefing will inform Congressional staff about the potential impact of the cuts prior to the upcoming vote on the US Department of Defense appropriations bill. The potential reduction in the MHRP budget cut comes at a time when international vaccine research is building on the results of the landmark RV144 study, which was conducted by the MHRP with Thai collaborators and showed the first evidence that an AIDS vaccine could protect against infection. Subsequent follow-up studies which also included MHRP scientists have identified immune correlates linked to risk of infection among vaccine recipients. AVAC has been working with partners since this summer to urge the US Congress and the Obama Administration to restore MHRP funding through visits, sign-on letters and blog postings.