Thirty years since the first report of the disease we now know as AIDS, scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) continue working toward the goal of a vaccine to prevent HIV infection. HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is about recognizing and thanking the thousands of volunteers, community members, health professionals, and scientists who are working together to find a safe and effective HIV vaccine.
We have scientific evidence that a safe and effective HIV vaccine is possible. In 2009, a clinical trial in Thailand involving 16,000 people showed for the first time that a vaccine could safely prevent HIV infection in a modest proportion of study participants. Many of the best researchers in HIV vaccine science are examining blood samples and data from the Thai trial to learn how the vaccine candidate prevented HIV infections and how it could be modified to be more effective.
To speed up testing of promising HIV vaccine candidates, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH is exploring the use of innovative or adaptive clinical trial designs that let scientists quickly modify ongoing trials in response to data acquired during the study. Such flexibility in trial design will allow the research community to enhance study of vaccine candidates.
Clinical trials of HIV vaccines depend on the participation of thousands of volunteers as well as community educators, health care workers and scientists. We are grateful to the many people who devote their time and energy to these essential clinical studies.
Be part of the generation that creates a vaccine to prevent HIV.
Learn about HIV vaccine trials and how to become involved at Be the Generation.
You can also learn about HIV/AIDS, where to get tested, and social media tools at AIDS.gov.