The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the Spanish AIDS NGO grupo de Trabajo sobre tratamientos del VIH (gTt) are grateful to the Spanish government for their one-year contribution of one million Euro to IAVI for the development of an AIDS vaccine. Leire Pajin, the Secretary of State for International Cooperation, made the announcement about the new appropriation during an international seminar on AIDS vaccines in Madrid. This is the first grant from the Spanish government to IAVI.
“We are very grateful to the Spanish government for making such an important contribution to our organization,” said Frans van den Boom, Vice President of IAVI’s European Programme. “It strengthens Europe’s leading role with now eight governments and the EU supporting the development of an AIDS vaccine.”
Despite efforts to control the AIDS epidemic, every day another 12,000 people become newly infected with HIV. The vast majority of these people live in developing countries, and many are women and girls.
The development of AIDS vaccines is an essential component in the global response to the AIDS pandemic. Access to available treatment and care is vitally important, but with the same urgency investments are also required in new AIDS prevention technologies, such as vaccines and microbicides.
The support from the Spanish and other governments allows IAVI to address some of the most critical questions in AIDS vaccine science, to continue clinical testing of promising AIDS vaccine candidates, to build infrastructure for research and development in India and African countries and to prepare communities for larger-scale AIDS vaccine clinical trials.
“This announcement is the result of joint advocacy efforts by Spanish AIDS and development NGOs, members of parliament and IAVI that have been sustained over the past years,” said Joan Tallada, General Coordinator of gTt. “We are very proud that the Spanish government is making funds available to IAVI for the development of an AIDS vaccine. It is our hope that Spain will continue to partner with us over the long-term in our efforts to find a vaccine.”
History has shown that vaccines are extremely effective in controlling infectious diseases, and an AIDS vaccine, once available, will have a major impact on the AIDS epidemic. Estimates suggest even a partially effective AIDS vaccine distributed to just 30% of the population would cut 17 million new infections over the course of 15 years, an important step to eradicating AIDS over the coming decades.