LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- At the close of the AIDS Vaccine 04 Conference, leading scientists called for both a coherent research strategy to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic and increased financial commitment with appropriate resources, planning and implementation at European Commission and EFTA country level. The AIDS pandemic continues to expand at an alarming rate, with a suggested additional 45 million people infected by 2010.
"The European Commission and other countries in Europe must put together an agenda to support research in HIV/AIDS: the fact that our leaders in Europe and in the commission appear to have difficulty in integrating research as a core element of the fight against HIV/AIDS is extremely worrying," underlined Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, director of the ANRS, National Agency for AIDS Research in France.
"The United States, both from a public and a private perspective, have demonstrated their commitment to the global fight and the development of a Global Vaccine Enterprise," said Dr. Giuseppe Pantaleo, chairman of the conference. "Both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have confirmed substantial support to accomplish the Enterprise priorities. We are still waiting to see European countries, including Switzerland, do the same."
The international research community has demonstrated its will to collaborate, standardize and establish regular exchange to ensure good progress. Notwithstanding the technical, scientific and logistic difficulties that development of an HIV vaccine represents, evaluate projects and programs. According to Helene Gayle, director HIV, TB and reproductive health, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the publication of a global scientific plan is scheduled for November 2004, just after a G8 follow up meeting in October. The last few months of 2004 will be dedicated to laboratory standardization and discovery. A follow-up meeting is planned with the G8 in 2005.
The AIDS Vaccine '04 Conference was attended by about 800 scientists and features the most significant advances in the field. The conference is co-organized by the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and EuroVacc, a foundation registered in Switzerland whose mission is to develop a vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other agents of human infectious diseases.
Source: EruoVacc Corporation