The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) is the largest publicly-funded clinical trials network dedicated to the development and testing of preventive HIV/AIDS vaccines in the world. The HVTN is an international collaboration that conducts all phases of clinical trials, from evaluating experimental vaccines for safety and the ability to stimulate immune responses, to testing vaccine efficacy. Support for the HVTN comes from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Network’s HIV Vaccine Clinical Research Sites are located at leading research institutions on 5 continents. The HVTN’s headquarters are at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.
The need for a preventative vaccine to stop the spread of HIV is starkly outlined by statistics: an estimated 35 million people around the world have died of AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the pandemic, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). As of 2012, there were 35.3 million people worldwide living with HIV. The highest rates of HIV/AIDS are in South Africa, where there are more than 1,000 new infections daily. In October 2013, the HVTN opened a new state-of-the-art lab in Cape Town, South Africa’s legislative capital, and is preparing to launch a series of clinical trials in the region starting in 2015.
The HVTN is committed to the full inclusion of community input in all stages of clinical research as a guiding principle for any trials conducted and follows the principles found in Good Participatory Practice: Guidelines for Biomedical HIV Prevention Trials.
A safe and effective preventive vaccine is our best long term hope for stopping the spread of HIV and it will only be achieved through the hard work and cooperation of all of our team members around the world.