Press release | Date: 02/02/2004
Seth Berkley is heading the work on developing an AIDS vaccine. He is meeting Minister of International Development Hilde F. Johnson in Oslo 03.02.04. (03.02.04)
Minister of International Development meets Seth Berkley
Dr Seth Berkley, President and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, or IAVI, is heading the work on developing an AIDS vaccine. He is meeting International Development Minister Hilde F. Johnson in Oslo on Tuesday 3 February.
The most sought-after weapon in the fight against HIV and AIDS is a preventive vaccine. This would do a lot to prevent the spread of HIV. Currently vaccines are being tested on six continents, and intensive efforts are being made in research and development. IAVI is the global network behind many of these efforts. It has mobilised support through a wide range of co-operation partners in both the public and the private sector, and it is primarily thanks to IAVI and Dr Berkley that vaccine development has come so far in the last few years. Norway has been supporting IAVI since 2001, this year in the amount of NOK 15 million.
Last year three million people died of AIDS, and five million became infected. The UN has estimated that 40 million people are living with AIDS, and that 14 million children have been orphaned by the disease. The world has not experienced an epidemic like this since the Black Death.
"What we really need in order to win the war against AIDS is a breakthrough in vaccine development. IAVI and Seth Berkley are making a unique contribution to the global effort in this field," said the Minister.
Notes for editors
Dr Berkley will be available for interviews by previous agreement between 15.00 and 17.00 on 3 February. Contact Information Adviser Odd Naustdal to arrange an appointment.