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AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition Releases AIDS Vaccine Handbook; 8th Annual HIV Vaccine Awareness Day Increases Awareness


NEW YORK, May 18 -- The AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC) today announced the release of its new AIDS Vaccine Handbook: Global Perspectives. The handbook was released in conjunction with the 8th annual HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, a day designed to educate communities about the importance of HIV vaccine research and thank the thousands of volunteers who have participated in clinical trials.

The AIDS epidemic rages on, and each year brings startling statistics of new infections and deaths. The number of people now living with HIV/AIDS approaches 40 million and last year alone, more than 3 million people died of AIDS.

“We need to do much more with today’s existing prevention methods, and we must expand access to treatment. But finding a safe and effective AIDS vaccine is essential in the global effort to curb the relentless epidemic,” said Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC. “No viral disease has even been controlled without a vaccine.”

Currently, more than 30 candidate vaccines are being tested in human clinical trials in 19 countries on six continents.

“To marshal and sustain public involvement in global AIDS vaccine efforts, communities need information that not only educates but also suggests how people can play an active role. And this information and mobilization must be provided within the context of a comprehensive response to the epidemic,” said Warren.

To address this need, AVAC produced this new AIDS Vaccine Handbook as a collection of easy-to-read, lively essays written by people involved in research and advocacy from around the globe. Edited by science-journalist Patricia Kahn, the Handbook provides an overview of the key scientific, policy, social, ethical and economic challenges, and of the diverse experience gained around the world over the past two decades.

“We hope that this new Handbook serves well as a valuable resource and reference guide. And, ultimately, we hope that it motivates people to take action,” said Warren.


About AVAC:

Founded in 1995, the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC) is a non-profit, community- and consumer-based organization that uses public education, policy analysis, advocacy and community mobilization to accelerate the ethical development and global delivery of vaccines against HIV/AIDS. For more information, visit

AIDS Vaccine Handbook

2nd Edition: Global Perspectives

Edited by Patricia Kahn

AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition

Publication Date: 2005

ISBN: 0-9678014-1-9

Paperback; 370 pages


The AIDS Vaccine Handbook aims to address such critical questions as:

-- How can I understand the science behind experimental AIDS vaccines?

-- Is it safe to volunteer for an AIDS vaccine clinical trial?

-- Are clinical trials that take place in developing countries ethical?

-- What can communities do to help foster and encourage AIDS vaccine development?

-- Where can I go for information, and what at can I do to help?

About Patricia Kahn, editor:

Patricia Kahn is a virologist-turned science journalist who has been writing about AIDS vaccines since 1997. She began working on the IAVI Report in 1998 and served as its editor from 2000 to 2003. Prior to joining IAVI, she was a Germany-based correspondent for Science magazine, following several years as a staff scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg. She now works in New York as a freelance writer and editor.

The handbook is available electronically and can be ordered at Copies are available free of charge to community organizations by sending an email request to


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