Spotlight Center on HIV Prevention Today

How Will We Finally Create a Successful Vaccine for HIV?


Mitchell Warren, Executive Director, AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC)

Mitchell Warren

Executive Director, AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC)

Actually, I am a big believer that the three biggest challenges we have are science, science and science. We do have some difficult decisions about what to fund and what to prioritize. But at the heart our biggest challenge in an AIDS vaccine is still about the science. There's so much we don't understand. But we're beginning to get some glimmers, so we now have this hint of why RV144, that trial in Thailand, had a positive result. Now we really need to focus and ask the question: How can we do it better? How do we develop a vaccine that's actually licensable?

The second big issue is: How do we be sure that we don't put all our eggs in one basket? That for all of the enthusiasm of the glimmers of hope we're getting, how do we maintain the discipline of funding several different scenarios at the same time? Because we all need to be planning for success, but also planning for more setback and disappointment since that's the nature of vaccine science.

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