The Second Forum of the African AIDS Vaccine Programme (AAVP) - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16-18 June 2003
Africa is home to more than 80% of all HIV-infected people globally and the development of a HIV vaccine suitable for Africa has been recognized as an urgent priority. Facing this challenge, the WHO-UNAIDS is sponsoring an African AIDS Vaccine Programme (AAVP), which was launched at the First AAVP Forum in Cape Town, South Africa in June 20021. One of the major recommendations that emerged from that Forum was the need to "develop strategies and plans supporting the ongoing efforts to implement multiple HIV vaccine trial sites in Africa". The Second AAVP Forum has been organized as a follow-up to this recommendation.
The specific objectives of the Forum were to:
- increase understanding and collaboration between all partners interested in promoting the development and evaluation of HIV vaccines for Africa;
- collectively identify the needs and commit support to strengthen the existing trial sites in Africa and identify possibilities to develop new ones;
- continue the process of developing a policy framework to facilitate the implementation of HIV vaccine trials in Africa with the highest scientific and ethical standards, and
- develop recommendations for the further development of AAVP activities, with specific milestones to assess progress and success.
The workshop presentations were varied and the topics covered were of critical importance to understanding issues related to HIV vaccine research, development and access, and the task ahead will require significant levels of goodwill, commitment and intense international collaboration and coordination.
This report provides a narrative of the presentations and discussions that took place during the Forum.