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AIDS Vaccine Resolution Passed by House

On July 28, the House approved, 407-0, a resolution (H. Res. 844) congratulating the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) on ten years of significant achievement in the search for an HIV/AIDS vaccine. The resolution was approved by the International Relations Committee on June 27 (see The Source, 6/30/06).

The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), contains a number of findings on the HIV/AIDS epidemic and vaccine research, including:

  • HIV/AIDS has killed over 25 million people worldwide and poses a serious threat to the economic and political stability of the countries hit hardest by this terrible epidemic;
  • the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative was founded in 1996 as a public-private partnership with a mission to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV/AIDS vaccines for use throughout the world, with a particular focus on developing countries, where the need is most urgent;
  • since its founding, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative has advanced six vaccine candidates from concept to clinical trials, targeting the subtypes of HIV circulating in the developing world — a record matched only by one large pharmaceutical company;
  • today, the majority of newly designed HIV/AIDS vaccine candidates are focused on preventing HIV/AIDS in the developing world, in large part due to the efforts of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative; and
  • the model of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, which closely links clinical trial site investigators to product developers, has resulted in the first HIV/AIDS vaccine trials being conducted in Kenya, Rwanda, and India, as well as trials in Uganda and South Africa.Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) said, “Since emerging in 1981, HIV/AIDS has viciously spread across the globe, compromising economic and political stability in developing countries and indiscriminately taking the lives of over 25 million men, women and children. The cost of HIV/AIDS has been staggering. Thankfully, the global response has accelerated…Until 1996, however, insufficient attention and resources were being devoted to the development of a preventive HIV/AIDS vaccine, a development that would have the potential to end a plague that has devastated much of our world for a quarter century. It was this realization, Mr. Speaker, that led to the founding of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative in 1996.”

    Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) stated, “Today over 42 million individuals are infected with HIV/AIDS globally and one million here in the United States. Fifty percent of these cases in the United States are in young adults between the ages of 15 and 24. Every year, 40,000 new cases are diagnosed. Thankfully, the IAVI has continued to work effortlessly to unite scientists, academics, nonprofit organizations, and governments from the north and south, including communities of faith, communities of color, and many others, in an effort to develop a vaccine to stop global HIV infection rates of 14,000 a day.”


 

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