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HIV vaccine studies show promising results

World AIDS Day vaccine hunt

World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, features the slogan “Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, zero AIDS related deaths” for the years 2011 through 2015.

While it is unlikely the “zero” goal will be reached by 2015, three decades of HIV analysis has sparked a “renaissance” of medical research that is leading scientists in new directions in their search for an effective vaccine.

Dr. Wayne Koff, the chief scientific officer for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, started researching HIV shortly after the first cases began appearing some 30 years ago.

“We’ve seen in the last three or four years a plethora of data that we in the AIDS vaccine development field are calling a renaissance, and as someone who has been in the field since the beginning I don’t use that term lightly,” Koff said.

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Emory HIV team lands $6 million Gates Foundation grant

Gates Foundation

A team of researchers at Emory University has been awarded a $6 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to aid in finding an effective vaccine for HIV/AIDS, the university announced today.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, to combat global poverty and to enhance healthcare across the world.

The grant was awarded as part of the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery, an international network of researchers devoted to creating a variety of HIV vaccination candidates with the ultimate goal of advancing the most promising candidates to clinical trials.

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Emory Vaccine Centers gets $7 million boost for HIV fight

Emory University will receive some $7 million as part of a seven-year project created by the National Institutes of Health with the goal of finding a vaccine against HIV and AIDS, the university announced today.

The Centers for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology & Immunogen Discovery (CHAVI-ID) will be led by the Scripps Research Institute and Duke University but doctors and scientists from Emory, the Rockefeller University/Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Ragon Institute will contribute to the project.

“Despite the development of lifesaving drugs, the HIV/AIDS epidemic still remains a tremendous challenge, with 34 million infected individuals throughout the world. Our greatest hope for stopping this disease remains an effective vaccine,” said Rafi Ahmed, PhD, director of the Emory Vaccine Center and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar.