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AIDS Vaccine Conference Underway in Bangkok

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AIDS Vaccine 2011, an international conference sponsored by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, is taking place this week in Bangkok, Thailand. The annual AIDS vaccine meeting is the major dedicated venue for research related to immune response against HIV and its translational into effective preventive vaccine candidates.

For more information, including the complete program guide, visit the conference website at http://www.hivvaccineenterprise.org/conference/2011/.

During the meeting (September 12-15) follow #AIDSVax11 on Twitter for the latest news.

Below is an edited excerpt from a press release issued by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise giving a preview of the conference.

 Progress and Challenges in the Search for an HIV Vaccine Highlighted as Researchers, Funders and Policy-Makers Gather for AIDS Vaccine 2011 In Bangkok

-- Only Global Conference Dedicated to HIV Vaccine Research Will Present the Latest Advances in Vaccine Development and Testing

Bangkok, Thailand -- September 7, 2011 -- In the midst of the most promising era in HIV prevention research since the AIDS epidemic began, scientists from around the world will present more than 400 new studies outlining advances in the search for a safe and effective HIV vaccine at AIDS Vaccine 2011. This global conference, the world's only scientific meeting dedicated exclusively to HIV vaccine research, runs Monday, 12 September through Thursday, 15 September in Bangkok. This is the first time that the annual AIDS Vaccine conference has been held in Asia.

"Thailand is the home of the RV144 trial, the largest AIDS vaccine study ever conducted and the first trial to demonstrate that an AIDS vaccine is possible," said José Esparza, MD, PhD, senior advisor on HV vaccines for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and interim board president of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise. "The proof of concept provided by this landmark study kicked off an unprecedented new era of HIV prevention progress, the results of which will be on display in the rich scientific program at AIDS Vaccine 2011."

"This is the most productive era in HIV vaccine research since the search for an HIV vaccine began," said Carl Dieffenbach, PhD, director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, U.S. National Institutes of Health. "As HIV vaccine research advances, the importance of continuing to support promising scientific approaches in the field cannot be overstated. The search for an HIV vaccine is a long-term commitment, but the benefits of developing a safe and effective vaccine may ultimately be measured in millions of lives and billions of dollars saved."

The annual AIDS vaccine meeting is hosted by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise (http://www.vaccineenterprise.org) a unique alliance of independent research, funding, advocacy and stakeholder organizations around the world dedicated to accelerating the development of preventive HIV vaccines. The Local Hosts for AIDS Vaccine 2011 are Bangkok's Mahidol University and the Ministry of Public Health, Thailand.

AIDS Vaccine 2011 will include the latest data on how lessons from the groundbreaking Thai vaccine study are advancing HIV vaccine research. Also on the conference agenda are updates on the identification of broadly neutralizing antibodies that could enhance future HIV vaccine development; new research on understanding "correlates of protection" that indicate how and why an HIV vaccine might work; new data on the workings of the human immune system that could help direct future vaccine design; and updates on the latest approaches to HIV vaccine development. Key conference sessions and press conferences will be webcast on http://hivvaccineenterprise.org/conference/2011/webcasting.

"Breakthroughs in HIV vaccine science have also been accompanied by new studies demonstrating the promise of HIV antiretroviral drugs to significantly slow the epidemic," said Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC and a Board Member of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise. "Together, these advances present us for the first time with the potential to end AIDS. Moving forward, we need more and better research, both to understand the best way to use new HIV prevention tools, and to build on advances toward the development of a safe and effective vaccine, which remains central to slowing and ultimately halting the global epidemic."

"The participation, commitment and leadership of the Thai government, Thai research institutions and the Thai people have been central to the effort to develop a safe and effective HIV vaccine," said AIDS Vaccine 2011 Conference Chair, Pratap Singhasivanon MD, PhD, of Mahidol University. "As key partners in the global effort to help end this epidemic, the Thai Ministry of Health and the Faculty of Tropical Medicine at Mahidol University are pleased to welcome colleagues from around the world to this historic conference at this critical moment in HIV prevention research."

Conference Program

AIDS Vaccine 2011 features daily plenary presentations by leading researchers and clinicians along with symposia and oral abstract and poster sessions addressing every aspect of vaccine development and testing. The conference program is available at:
http://www.hivvaccineenterprise.org/conference/2011/agenda.

For journalists, the conference offers a fully operational media center and daily press briefings presenting research news highlights and overviews by leading HIV vaccine experts. AIDS 2011 press conferences will be held on Monday, 12 September at 15:00 p.m.; Tuesday, 12 September at 12:30 p.m. and Wednesday, 13 September at 12:30 p.m. (Bangkok time); in Lotus Suite 9 at the conference venue, the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. Press conferences will be webcast at: http://hivvaccineenterprise.org/conference/2011/webcasting.

About the Organizers

The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise is an alliance of independent organizations dedicated to accelerating the development of preventive HIV vaccines through mutual coordination, collaboration, knowledge sharing and recruitment of new resources and funders to the field.

Mahidol University and the Ministry of Public Health have been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS vaccine research and development in Thailand since 1993, when the National Plan for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Development and Evaluation was launched. Since then, two Phase III, and 11 Phase I/II, trials have been conducted in Thailand, with more trials in the pipeline.

The AIDS Vaccine 2011 Conference Chair is Dr. Pratap Singhasivanon of Mahidol University.  Conference Co-chairs are Dr. Punee Pitisuttithum of Mahidol Univerisity and Dr. Manit Teeratantikanont of the Ministry of Public Health, Thailand.

AIDS Vaccine 2011 is sponsored by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis (ANRS), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chinese Centers for Disease Control, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Geovax Inc., GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, the Government of Canada, the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), Mabtech, Ministry of public health, Thailand, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the Office of AIDS Research (OAR) of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, sanofi pasteur, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, UNAIDS: The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Wellcome Trust and Xstrata Alloys.

More information on AIDS Vaccine 2011 is available at: http://www.hivvaccineenterprise.org/conference/2011/.

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9/13/11

Sources

Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise. Progress and Challenges in the Search for an HIV Vaccine Highlighted as Researchers, Funders and Policy-Makers Gather for AIDS Vaccine 2011 In Bangkok. Press release. September 7, 2011.

AIDS Vaccine 2011. http://www.hivvaccineenterprise.org/conference/2011.