In this issue, we announce an award received by our very own Dr. Larry Corey, provide an update on the status of the Mosaico Study, introduce some of the former RAMP Scholars, provide an introduction to the new HVTN Faith Initiative (version 2.0), share activities from some of our sites and members and a new published article on community engagement, welcome new HVTN Core staff members and a special announcement of a promotion! While our efforts in the COVID-19 space continue, one of the global phase 3 HIV vaccine studies we are collaborating on completed enrollment, and we are expecting to see many phase 1 HIV vaccine and antibody studies begin in the coming year.
The HVTN, including our partners and communities, played a monumental role in the response to COVID-19 through the work of the COVID-19 Prevention Network. We have, and continue to see, an unprecedented level of innovation in science and clinical trials, meaningful and cross- cutting engagement of communities and stakeholders, and resource allocation to support prevention and treatment options for COVID-19, as well as testing and other services. Though this pandemic has caused death and destruction, I also recognize the countless numbers of lives that have been saved through our collective efforts. It is truly historic and noteworthy, and a moment in which we can all take pride.
While these efforts continue, our HIV efforts remain a key priority for the Network and our communities. Many people continue to wonder about the timeline for an HIV vaccine. There are many studies underway, most of which are early phase studies that are primarily looking at safety in smaller numbers of people; however, we do have one large scale HIV vaccine study in the field, Mosaico (www.mosaicostudy.org), and we are looking forward to seeing results in the future. This study uses a mosaic- based platform which supports the evaluation of the vaccine across various types of HIV found around the world.
COVID-19 restrictions are shifting, and many communities around the world are starting to open back up. While this is occurring, conversations about the important lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic that can be applied to HIV continue. While we wrestle with getting COVID-19 under control, we must not ignore the continued impact of HIV in our communities globally, and the determinants of health that negatively impact the health of communities and people that make HIV acquisition and transmission more likely.
Please help us ensure that this publication is representative of our entire global HVTN community! HVTN members (who have access to the HVTN member’s website) can use our submission page that offers the ability to submit content and articles for inclusion in future issues. More information about this follows on the “Meet the Community Compass Team” section.
Thank you for your continued support of the HVTN wherever you are in the world, for the work that you do in whatever role you have in the HVTN community, and for the impact we have been able to make in our collective history and communities, together. Though we have come very far in response to the HIV epidemic, we have so much further to go to achieve a globally effective HIV vaccine. The HVTN Community Compass team wants to be everywhere you are, so please share with us what’s happening at your research sites, institutions, and in your communities, so that we can share it with the world.
Stephaun E. Wallace, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, HVTN Community Compass