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African AIDS Vaccine Conference Addresses Future Trials In Africa, Lower Participation Rates Among Women

During the Forum of the African AIDS Vaccine Program (AAVP) in Kampala, Uganda, on Wednesday, Alan Bernstein, the director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, discussed ongoing efforts to launch an experimental HIV vaccine trial – similar to the recent trial in Thailand – in Africa, the Daily Monitor reports.

The article includes comments by Alashl’e Abimiku, co-chair of the African AIDS Vaccine Program, who addressed the need for greater vaccine trial efforts in Africa. “The global HIV community has recognised that in spite of the good news in the Thai trial, we are still far way from having an effective HIV vaccine, in particular a vaccine relevant for Africa where we have numerous HIV genetic variants and recombinant viral forms driving regional sub-epidemics,” Abimiku said (Lirri, 12/17).

Also at the conference, researchers on Tuesday called attention to the disparity in how many women participate in HIV vaccine clinical trials, the Monitor/allAfrica.com reports. Though women tend to seek health care services more than men, fewer enroll in clinical trials, Fred Wabwire Mangeni, the principal investigator of the Makerere University Walter Reed Project, said. During his address, Mangeni reflected on several reasons for women’s lower participation rates and the importance of recruiting more women for trials in the future (Lirr, 12/16).