Historical archive

About IAVI, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative

Historical archive

Published under: Bondevik's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

About IAVI, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative

IAVI is a global nonprofit organization working to accelerate research to develop a preventive AIDS vaccine. Founded in 1996, IAVI sponsors partnerships with researchers in industrialized and developing countries to advance the study of promising AIDS vaccine candidates. IAVI also works to assure that an AIDS vaccine, once available, will be accessible to everyone without delay.

A preventive AIDS vaccine would be given to people who are uninfected with HIV, to prevent them from becoming infected or going on to develop AIDS.

An IAVI-sponsored partnership of researchers in Africa and Europe has designed a preventive AIDS vaccine candidate and is conducting human trials of it in Kenya, Uganda and the UK. Additional trials are scheduled to begin by the end of 2003 in South Africa, Rwanda, Germany and Belgium.

IAVI seeks to accelerate AIDS vaccine research by studying different vaccine candidates at the same time. Five other IAVI-sponsored research partnerships, including one led by the government of India, are developing AIDS vaccine candidates. These are in the stage of development just prior to human trials, which are scheduled to begin by the end of 2004 at sites in Africa and Europe as well as in India and the US.

IAVI’s partnerships are public-private ventures, involving academic and government research institutes as well as biotechnology and vaccine manufacturing companies. For each partnership, IAVI provides financial backing—IAVI is one of the world’s leading funders of AIDS vaccine research—as well as project management, technical assistance and an international network of state-of-the-art laboratories and clinics.

IAVI-sponsored research addresses scientific challenges impeding AIDS vaccine development. A seventh IAVI partnership, which includes the US National Institutes of Health, is working to identify a vaccine candidate that induces neutralizing antibodies to HIV; this is considered one of the most promising ways in which an AIDS vaccine might confer protection.

IAVI-sponsored research focuses on the needs of developing countries, where the majority of new HIV infections occur. IAVI is researching how a vaccine can be effective against the strains of HIV that are circulating in developing countries as well as how the cost of manufacturing a vaccine can be kept low.

IAVI’s research procedures follow international standards, including UNAIDS guidelines for the ethical conduct of human trials. Before beginning research in a country, IAVI receives regulatory approval from the country’s government and independent review boards at the study sites. The AIDS vaccine candidates now in development are designed so that it is impossible for them to cause HIV/AIDS.

IAVI is committed to assuring that an AIDS vaccine, once available, will be accessible to everyone without delay. Researchers partnering with IAVI agree that if an IAVI-sponsored AIDS vaccine proves effective, it will be made available in developing countries at reasonable prices. IAVI has intellectual property and technology transfer rights to enforce this agreement.

IAVI works with HIV/AIDS advocacy and service organizations worldwide to educate political leaders, health professionals, community groups and journalists about AIDS vaccine research. IAVI advocates for public policies to increase funding for AIDS vaccine research, and for policies to assure swift widespread access to an AIDS vaccine.

IAVI is funded through contributions from foundations, governments and others worldwide. Major financial support has been provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Rockefeller, Sloan and Starr foundations; the World Bank; BD (Becton, Dickinson and Co.); and the governments of Canada, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States, Ireland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.