As we celebrate HIV/AIDS Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD), the Uganda HIV Vaccine Interest Group (VIG) wishes to share with the Ugandan community the efforts towards finding an HIV vaccine. We are committed to the vision of an AIDS-free generation in Uganda and globally through the development of a vaccine to prevent HIV. Currently, more than a million Ugandans are living with HIV and every year more than 140,000 Ugandans become newly infected with HIV, of these approximately 15,000 are children. This is in spite of Uganda’s efforts in increasing access to HIV treatment and prevention strategies which include education, voluntary counseling and testing, condom use, voluntary medical male circumcision and prevention of mother to child transmission.
To end the HIV epidemic, a safe, effective and widely accessible preventive HIV vaccine will be needed in addition to the existing prevention strategies. Vaccines are one of the most effective prevention tools known for many infectious diseases and therefore the world is looking at an HIV vaccine discovery as important landmark that will combat the epidemic.
Uganda is one of the leading countries in the fight against HIV and is seen around the world as a success story in the control of HIV through research and the implementation of prevention and treatment strategies. In 1999, Uganda, together with international partners, conducted the first HIV vaccine trial in Africa. Since then, several vaccines studies have been conducted and hundreds of volunteers have participated in the HIV vaccine research efforts. These studies have not yet shown an effective vaccine, but every clinical trial and every study has advanced our understanding of HIV and what is needed to develop an effective vaccine.
This year, as we again mark HIV Vaccine Awareness Day on May 18th, the VIG wishes to acknowledge the government of Uganda and all of the people in Uganda who continue to support the national and global efforts to find a vaccine to prevent HIV. We thank the community members who provide guidance and insights to our research teams, Community Advisory Boards who ensure that community interests are addressed, religious leaders, political leaders, healthcare providers, advocacy groups and media organizations. Most of all we wish to appreciate the men and women in Uganda and around the world who have participated as volunteers in HIV vaccine research. We are proud to work as a team with all these stakeholders. While we still do not have an effective vaccine, exciting new findings tell us that an AIDS vaccine is possible. This will require continued work. Uganda’s capacity to conduct research has continued to expand and today, Ugandan scientists are working side by side with researchers from around the world to find a vaccine to prevent HIV. We take this opportunity to ask for your continued support for Uganda’s HIV vaccine research efforts, so that together we can work toward an AIDS-free generation and a world without AIDS.
The VIG is comprised of researchers from: International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Medical Research Council/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS, Makerere University Walter Reed Program, UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program.
A luta continual!
The Uganda Virus Research Institute-International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (UVRI-IAVI) HIV Vaccine Program
Plot 51-59 Nakiwogo Road, Entebbe
Tel: +256414322377/8 email:firstname.lastname@example.org
MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS
Plot 51-59 Nakiwogo Road, Entebbe
Tel: +256417704000 email:email@example.com
The Makerere University Walter Reed Project
Plot 42, Nakasero Road, Kampala
Tel: +256414534588 email:firstname.lastname@example.org