A landmark event for the HIV vaccine research community in the Northwest is being held at Seattle's Sheraton Hotel this week: the AIDS Vaccine 2007 Conference, one of the foremost events supporting the development of preventative medicine for HIV and AIDS in the world. It started on Aug. 20 and will continue on through Aug. 23. Over 800 researchers, clinicians, public health experts, and corporate representatives have arrived from 48 countries to attend the forum. They're here to exchange scientific research and conduct a dialogue about testing and developing an effective HIV vaccine.
The first of its kind to be held in Seattle, AIDS Vaccine '07 is being put forward as a way of getting the scientific community to muster their resources and work more collaboratively. One of the impediments to vaccine research, according to conference chairman Larry Corey, is the lack of shared information. Unsuccessful clinical trials may be repeated many times by scientists in different institutions. Globally, the task of developing an effective and accessible HIV vaccine is too great for any one group to tackle alone. A large scale and comprehensive effort is needed.
Why the focus on finding a vaccine, rather than a cure? With its rapid rate of mutation, a cure for the immunodeficiency virus is not likely to be found any time soon. And, for every person diagnosed with AIDS in the world today, four other individuals are unknowingly infected. In the battle to stop HIV and AIDS, prevention is looking like the ultimate cure.
For more information about AIDS Vaccine '07, go to: www.hivvaccineenterprise.org/conference/index.html