Researchers meet on ending HIV through vaccines, biomedical tools

Over 1,400 researchers, policy makers and advocates worldwide are meeting in Spain to find how to end HIV.

They are considering researches for HIV/AIDS vaccines and other biomedical tools that will prevent transmission and end the disease at once.


The HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P 2018) Conference in Madrid, Spain which started on 21 will end today 25 October.

The experts believe a new generation of HIV prevention tools in development offer the greatest promise yet of significantly slowing the global toll of HIV and AIDS.


The conference is the only global scientific meeting dedicated exclusively to biomedical HIV prevention.

More than 35 million people have died of HIV-related illnesses, and another 37 million people are now living with HIV worldwide.

About 3.2 million people live with HIV in Nigeria.

The researchers are exploring latest research in every form of biomedical HIV prevention, such as vaccines, rings, microbicides and other female-controlled forms of prevention, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and long-acting delivery systems.

Aside scientific advances, the global conference is also looking at addressing obstacles to developing safe, long-acting and user-friendly forms of HIV prevention.

Conference co-chair, Georgia Tomaras of Duke University said that progress in prevention research has expanded opportunities to control and ultimately stop the epidemic.

She said as prevention science advances, the challenges of maintaining the political will and funding to support a global movement to end AIDS comes into even sharper focus.

Jose Alcamí of Madrid’s Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain, another conference co-chair said Spain was proud to host the first HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) conference held in Europe.

He noted that the “HIVR4P is part of a global movement to build the alliances and exchanges, across disciplines and countries, that can bring us closer to a world without AIDS.”

Highlights of the conference was the unveiling of the five-year strategy to accelerate the development of an effective vaccine to prevent HIV infection by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise . The enterprise is hosted by the International AIDS Society (IAS) and organizes the HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) conference every two years.

Launching the strategy, Linda-Gail Bekker, Professor of medicine and immediate past president of the International AIDS Society (IAS) said that there is real hope around the discovery of a vaccine for HIV.

Bekker who is also the deputy director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa said that the strategy developed in collaboration with many stakeholders and opinion leaders will help make a successful vaccine available to all who need it.

Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Sani Aliyu had said at different fora that vaccines were important for the eradication of HIV in Nigeria and the rest of the world.

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