HIV expert: World
risks duplication in HIV vaccine efforts

coordination is needed in the quest to develop an HIV
vaccine to avoid redundancy and improve the chances
for success, says Robert Hatch, senior vice president
for public policy at the International AIDS Vaccine
Initiative. "There is a danger we see right now in AIDS
vaccines, a lot of so-called me-too or similar
vaccines being tested," Hatch told a meeting of the
Global Forum for Health Research in Bombay, India, on

Currently, more
than 30 HIV vaccine candidates are in clinical trials
worldwide, but scientists are not certain any of them will
effectively defeat the frequently mutating virus.

With support from
the World Bank, the European Union, and the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation, IAVI is calling for a stronger
scientific consensus on priorities and an improved
funding system to "avoid this kind of duplication and
wasted use of resources." Through a series of
coordinated and targeted efforts, said Hatch, "the timeline
could be speeded up by as much as 50%."

In 2005 alone,
nearly $4 billion is expected to be spent on
antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV in the developing world,
and this is expected to increase dramatically in
coming years, Hatch noted. In comparison, the $680
million spent around the world on AIDS vaccine
research and development is hundreds of millions of dollars
short of what is needed, he said. (Reuters)

Tags: Health, Health

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