Now the HVTN is launching trials of the most promising HIV vaccines ever developed, and they’re doing it in South Africa, where the virus infects more people than in any other country. There, more than five million people – or roughly 10 percent of the population – suffer from HIV, and nearly two million children have been orphaned by the disease, according to Statistics South Africa and UNAIDS.
The mission of the Hutch is the elimination of cancer and related diseases as a cause of human suffering and death. Those with HIV can be several thousand times more likely to develop various types of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
If the new vaccines are effective, it will be a key step toward ending the HIV scourge in South Africa and worldwide.
“That’s the goal – to make insights that will lead to a vaccine that is far more effective than anything we’ve ever seen,” said Dr. Jim Kublin, the HVTN’s executive director.