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HIV VACCINE AWARENESS
HIV Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD) is observed annually on May 18th.
This observance provides an opportunity to recognize and thank the many volunteers, community members, health professionals, and scientists who are working together to find a safe and effective preventive HIV vaccine. It is also a day to educate communities across the nation about the importance of preventive HIV vaccine research.
There is currently no vaccine that will prevent HIV infection or treat those who have it. But there is promising research in progress. HIV Vaccine Awareness Day observes this progress and future promise.
Scientists are continuing to create and test HIV vaccines—in the lab, in animals, and even in human subjects. These vaccine trials help researchers to learn whether a vaccine will work and if it can be safely given to people.
In 2009, researchers published findings from an HIV vaccine trial in Thailand. That trial involved more than 16,000 adults and showed that a combination vaccine was safe and lowered the rate of HIV infection by 31.2%. Scientists are now trying to take what they learned from the Thai trial and make a better vaccine with greater and more definite effectiveness. For more information on the Thailand vaccine trial, see the U.S. Military HIV Research Program.