The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a non-profit, scientific research organization with the mission of translating scientific discoveries into globally affordable and accessible public health solutions to some of the worst existing and emerging global health challenges, including HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and COVID-19.
In 2022 IAVI had more than 100 scientific, industry and government partnerships across the world. Through partnerships with research institutions and communities in some of the countries most affected by HIV, TB, and now COVID-19, IAVI supports the development of local scientific infrastructure, capacity, and leadership.
Long-term, sustainable local partnerships ensure that scientific and community capacity building remain integral to the research process and allows the most vulnerable and at-risk populations, such as adolescent girls and young women, to be included in and benefit from the research.
Still an urgent need for HIV vacccines
HIV vaccines are still urgently needed to help end HIV/AIDS – many populations, including adolescent girls and young women, female sex workers, and men who have sex with men, remain at high risk of HIV infection due to lack of or limited access to and uptake of prevention services.
A full range of social, economic, gender and legal-related issues, amongst others, fuel these inequalities, a situation only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Developing and ensuring global access to HIV vaccines to all those at risk will be essential to end the HIV/AIDS global epidemic.
There are numerous scientific challenges to developing an HIV vaccine. The unprecedented genetic variability of the virus, its ability to quickly establish a persistent lifelong infection, and the fact that not a single person has cleared HIV on their own are just some of the obstacles researchers face in trying to understand how to induce protective immunity against the virus.
Given the complexity of combating HIV, traditional approaches to vaccine development that led to many of the licensed vaccines in use today are either impractical, or have so far failed to result in effective vaccines.
(Source: IAVI – HIV Vaccines)
IAVI and Denmark
IAVI is a long-standing partner of The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its commitment to ending HIV/AIDS and promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights – and as such a key actor in Denmark’s efforts to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Denmark has supported IAVI since 2001 with a total contribution of 142.5 million DKK (in 2021). Jointly with the support of other governments in and outside Europe, and philanthropic funders such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Danish contribution has (by 2021) allowed IAVI and partners to:
– evaluate 29 vaccine candidates in clinical trials
– discover and develop an entirely novel HIV prevention approach based on antibodies
– develop 12 state-of the-art labs and clinics in Sub-Saharan Africa and India
– train almost a thousand researchers and health and community workers to support HIV prevention research
– link more than 800,000 people to HIV counselling and testing services and other healthcare services.
AIDS-Fondet collaborates with IAVI because we too believe that a vaccine against AIDS is the ultimate weapon in the fight against HIV.