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May 9, 2013

Dear Advocate,

On May 18, AVAC, its partners and others across the globe will mark HIV Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD). HIV prevention advocates will raise their voices about the urgent need to continue the search for a safe and effective AIDS vaccine, and especially to recognize the enormous contribution of the thousands of volunteers who have participated in vaccine trials, without which this research would not be possible.

This update includes links to new AVAC resources that we hope will help advocates navigate current issues in the field. HVAD 2013 comes just weeks after immunizations in a major vaccine trial—HVTN 505—were stopped early due to a finding of no efficacy. But HVAD is a reminder that vaccine research is rarely linear and often unpredictable, and that even disappointing results like those of 505 are critical to refine future vaccine strategies. AIDS vaccine research is still in its most promising period in decades with breakthroughs in a number of approaches different from that studied in 505.

As in the past, this year AVAC launches an updated HVAD Toolkit that includes new graphics, fact sheets, messages and other tools to help explain the state of the field in simple language.

HVAD 2013 Advocacy Toolkit: Turning complex science into clear messages

  • HVAD 2013: The Countdown continues—This brochure includes snapshots of AIDS vaccine research, trials, concepts, volunteers, sites and funding, along with a timeline of key milestones over the past 25 years. (Graphics from the brochure and a PowerPoint version are also available.)
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  • AIDS Vaccine Science for Busy Advocates—One-pagers reviewing highlights, next steps and key terms for four pivotal topics:
    • Current AIDS Vaccine R&D Pipeline
    • RV144: Building on a breakthrough
    • Antibody Research: Progress on a powerful immune response
    • Passive Immunization: An important piece of the puzzle
  • AIDS Vaccines: The basics—An introductory PowerPoint slide set with basic concepts, an overview of research status and recent developments
  • AIDS Vaccine Key Messages—Bullet points on today’s pressing issues
  • AIDS Vaccine Science: What's all the buzz about?—A training exercise to bring the content to life

As in the past, we also have updated tables, timelines and other information about ongoing and planned vaccine trials and concepts linked at www.avac.org/vaccines and www.avac.org/pxrd.

Global HVAD Events

AVAC is excited to be working with civil society and research partners across the globe on a number of community events to commemorate HVAD. For a list of these events visit www.avac.org/hvad2013. We encourage your participation if you live near any of them! If you have an event that you would like us to include on our list, please send the details to avac@avac.org, and we will get it up on the web.

AIDS vaccine research depends on the thousands of extraordinary men and women who volunteer for clinical trials; the advocates who educate, inform and excite their communities; the scientists and clinicians who work in the field pushing the science forward every day; and the funders and policy makers whose support makes continued investment possible. This HVAD please join us in supporting vaccine research and development to ensure that an AIDS vaccine will be part of a package of interventions that ultimately brings the epidemic to an end.

As always, please be in touch with any questions, requests for printed materials or other feedback!

Best,
AVAC


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