AIDS vax group reveals global research strategy

Over the past year, researchers have made a number of breakthroughs in the AIDS vaccine quest, including realizing that creating such a vaccine is possible. Now, with such deep-pocketed financiers as Bill Gates, the Council of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise has released its scientific strategic plan.

"This is the most exciting period in HIV vaccine research in the last three decades," says Mitchell Warren, AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC) executive director, in a release. "This plan has the potential to help meet the current challenges in the field. But a plan is only as good as its execution, and AVAC will be watching and reporting on how the field comes together to capitalize both on the consensus of the plan and the promise of the science."

The plan, which appears in Nature Medicine, implores researchers to utilize breakthroughs in other areas of biotech and vaccine development to their advantage. But AVAC had its own suggestions for the Enterprise's plan, emphasizing the entity as a conglomeration and united movement towards discovering a viable vaccine.

"In science it's not always one step forward, one step forward," says Alan Bernstein, executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, in a Voice of America interview. "It's quite often one step forward, two steps backwards. That's just the nature of science. And if it was always forward, we would have solved every human disease by now. And so I think we need to be prepared and acknowledge that this is tough."

- check out the AVAC release
- read and listen to the VOA piece