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Group looks to spur development of new HIV vaccine

Category: HIV

Positive HIV tests may soon become a thing of the past if a new foundation made up of leading infectious disease experts has its say.

Fourteen scientists and HIV awareness advocates from around the world recently joined forces to form the Foundation for Vaccine Research. The main purpose of the group is to raise awareness of the dire need for the development of an effective vaccine against the sexually transmitted disease.

Toward this end, the members will lobby lawmakers for research funding and encourage more scientists to explore the possibilities for developing an effective vaccine. While the foundation says that prevention is more important than cures, only 2 percent of money spent developing drugs to fight infectious diseases is put toward vaccines. The rest goes to medicines to address existing infections.

"I hope that the creation of the Foundation will galvanize efforts to create innovative financing mechanisms and other incentives that will expedite vaccine research and development, particularly for HIV," said Mauro Schechter, the group's board director.

He added that in many parts of the world, there are no financial incentives for developing vaccines. His group hopes to change this.

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