February 19, 2020
Recently, leaders of HVTN 702 HIV vaccine efficacy trial in South Africa (also known as Uhambo), announced that vaccinations would be stopped early because the vaccine candidate did not prevent HIV. Importantly, there were no safety concerns. Since then, conversations have ensued—from local and global levels—to understand the result and its implications for the future of HIV vaccine development.
AVAC and Advocacy for the Prevention of HIV and AIDS (APHA) held a global webinar on Wednesday, February 19 to discuss the latest updates on these conversations and reflect on how they may impact HIV prevention globally.
The call provided civil society perspectives from APHA and the Vaccine Resource Advocacy Group (VARG), updates from HVTN 702 researchers, and broader context of HIV vaccine development from the United States NIH’s Division of AIDS (DAIDS).
HVTN 702 is one of several Phase III vaccine trials ongoing at this time. HVTN 705/ HPX2008 (Imbokodo), HVTN 706/HPX3002 (Mosaico) and the PrEPVacc Study are all exploring novel HIV vaccine candidates. Broadly neutralizing antibodies and additional ARV-based prevention options are also in large-scale trials. Though the failure to find efficacy with HVTN 702 represents a disappointment, unflagging momentum in research must continue. It’s crucial to understand these results and the scientific contribution they will make to a future, urgently needed vaccine.
A recording of the webinar can be found here.