Public statement by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) on COVID-19, April 2020

We acknowledge and thank all members of our communities and organizations who are at the forefront helping in the response to overcome COVID-19. We laud your service and unwavering commitment!

The HVTN continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the conduct of the early and large-scale clinical trials we coordinate globally.  We remain committed to the safety and wellbeing of all study participants and study teams.

In a previous statement  we outlined how our study teams are empowered to implement measures necessary to prevent the possible transmission of COVID-19 at each trial site. All measures are aligned with the recommendations and guidance from local public health authorities and Institutional Review Boards/Ethics Committees.  In addition, some trial sites abide by specific requirements of their larger research organization or health care facility.   

The impact of COVID-19 is evolving rapidly and many countries are introducing response measures such as school and business closures and asking people to stay home. All measures aim to stop transmission and save lives.

An update on the status of the large-scale clinical trials coordinated by the HVTN is provided in the accompanying table: Impact of COVID-19 on large-scale antibody-mediated HIV prevention efficacy clinical trials and HIV vaccine efficacy trials

As a general approach, all trial sites are implementing the following measures to stop the transmission of COVID-19:

  • Schedule telephone or virtual study participant visits
  • Require those with a scheduled appointment to contact the site beforehand if they feel unwell
  • Encourage physical distancing to minimize potential exposures in the waiting area or while visits are being conducted
  • Monitor the temperatures of the clinic staff and participants upon entering the clinic
  • Frequently clean and disinfect all surfaces
  • Frequently hand wash with soap for at least for 20 seconds. 

Our mission remains the pursuit of a safe and globally effective preventive HIV vaccine to help end HIV. We appreciate the collaborative efforts at all sites to ensure the safety of participants and staff and preserve the scientific integrity of each clinical trial. 

Impact of COVID-19 on large-scale antibody-mediated HIV prevention efficacy clinical trials and HIV vaccine efficacy trials

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HVTN Director of Communications
Aziel Gangerdine