May 18th is recognized as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD), and this year it is a time of deep reflection and potential. Three major HIV vaccine trials have ended in no efficacy since 2020, but the field knows more than ever that a vaccine is still needed for a durable and sustainable end to the pandemic—and has new insights into possible vaccine strategies that might one day effectively protect against HIV.
This year, AVAC and CASPR partners cast a spotlight on the many issues and opportunities for HVAD 2023. Check it all out below and read on for details about a wide range of new resources!
- Listen to our latest Px Pulse podcast on vaccines
- Check out our HVAD one-pager
- Join one of the CASPR partner and collaborator HVAD events
- Read an introduction to our upcoming Lab to Jab series of briefs on vaccine R&D
New PxPulse Podcast Episode!
Listen to the newest PxPulse podcast, “Evolving Strategies for an HIV Vaccine: One researcher explains where the field is going and why,” featuring Katy Stephenson of Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research. In conversation with AVAC’s Jeanne Baron, Katy provides an accessible breakdown of where the field of HIV vaccine research is, including details on recent trial results that proved ineffective and what’s next (and exciting) in HIV vaccine advocacy and research.
Two HVAD Webinars (Recordings and Slides Below)!
What’s All the Buzz About: mRNA, manufacturing, vaccine access
To bNAb or not to bNAb? The case for broadly neutralizing antibodies
CASPR Partner and Collaborator HVAD Events
Communities across the globe engaged in a wide array of events focused on HIV vaccine awareness. Below are details on activities the Coalition to Accelerate & Support Prevention Research (CASPR) partners led.
- Africa Free of New HIV Infections (AFNHi) conducted a special HVAD episode of its Vuka Afrika show earlier today. View the recording on YouTube.
- Advocacy for Prevention of HIV and AIDS (APHA) and The Desmond Tutu Health Foundation hosted an in-person event on HIV vaccine research in collaboration with Vuka Research Centre May at 11 at Philippi Village, Cape Town.
- Zambia’s Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC) hosted a vaccine research literacy session at the Centre for Family Health Research in Lusaka, Zambia on May 12. TALC also organized an HVAD march on May 18 in Lusaka to raise vaccine literacy and awareness.
- Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organizations (UNASO) hosted a press conference on May 18 to discuss research happening in-country and the importance of community involvement in research. UNASO followed this press conference with a candlelight memorial on May 19.
- APHA and Wits RHI co-hosted a National Stakeholder Engagement Forum focused on HIV vaccine research in South Africa on May 29.
- IAVI’s ADVANCE program hosted a regional HVAD conference in Johannesburg, South Africa on May 30, in collaboration with the Aurum Institute and SAHTAC. The conference promoted collaboration, partnership and knowledge-sharing among HIV vaccine stakeholders.
- While not a CASPR event, we were excited to join the HIV.gov webinar on HVAD – Live with Leadership: A Conversation Commemorating National HIV Vaccine Awareness Day – with a panel that includes PxROAR member Julie Patterson.
New Series of Advocate Briefs
In the weeks to come, we’ll release From the Lab to the Jab, a series of briefs on next generation vaccine research and development; the basics of mRNA technology; initiatives that support local manufacturing; and understanding and overcoming barriers that undermine equitable access to vaccines. Each brief also highlights the advocacy needed to keep these efforts on track and in line with what communities need and want.
AVAC has updated our recent HIV vaccine primers. And we’re sharing a viewpoint written in the Journal of the International AIDS Society.
- Phase 1 mRNA HIV Vaccine Trials, a snapshot of current HIV mRNA trials, and a primer on the basics of mRNA technology
- Experimental Medicine Vaccine Trials (EMVTs), a two-page primer on EMVTs and their role in HIV prevention research
- Antibodies for HIV prevention: the path forward, appearing in the Journal of the International AIDS Society
As the science continues to advance, we hope these resources inform our collective advocacy. With the knowledgeable voices of advocates guiding the response, scientific successes will not be squandered, communities won’t be left behind, programs will be people-centered, and epidemics will end.