External Relations Director, HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN)
I think the two biggest obstacles are really beginning to build a relationship with the communities where we actually conduct the research and understanding, as we move forward with combination prevention, treatment and cure research, that this all takes a very long time. The work that we have to do is going to continually take the input and education of the people who we want to participate in HIV vaccine research.
The other challenge around that is continuing to support the community-based organizations that are led by people living with HIV who can educate the public because they understand HIV in a way that the rest of the world doesn't. We actually have been blessed to have these people as the leaders in all of our advocacy and education over the years. Personally, as a person who's HIV negative, it was an HIV-positive man who taught me how to use a condom. That's the path to insuring HIV vaccine research is successful in our communities.