Over several years, many formal and informal discussions among African stakeholders approached the need for an “African voice for AIDS vaccine research” — a unified resource that would help to foster, support and strengthen the efforts of African researchers, communities, advocacy groups, governments, and other key players to more effectively participate in the search for an AIDS vaccine for Africa. Those stakeholders envisioned a network would bring together seasoned and emerging African scientists, respond to the needs and priorities of the different regions, and be driven consistently by science.
The African AIDS Vaccine Virtual network (AAVVi.net) developed out of that vision. AAVVi.net is a network of African scientists, advocates, community leaders, global partners, and other stakeholders working together to accelerate the development of vaccine candidates for Africa by increasing African participation in HIV vaccine research and development. AAVVi.net allows stakeholders to work on a range of shared interests including the exchange of information and the development of meeting plans, consensus documents, and opinion papers that can advance the search for vaccine candidates for Africa. AAVVi.net also prioritizes outreach to early career researchers in an effort to engage their participation and ensure that their priorities and needs for information receive sufficient attention. This user-driven, virtual network is open to all who are interested in increasing African participation in HIV vaccine R&D and contributing to the development of effective HIV vaccines for Africa.
AAVVi.net has no legal entity, staff, or formal membership. Its activities are overseen and coordinated by a Steering Group and implemented by rotating Working Groups. An advisory group, the AAVVi.net Champions, works with the support of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise and with leadership from Pontiano Kaleebu of MRC/UVRI Uganda to define governance and operational structures for the network. AAVVi.net’s nimble structure will allow the network to react to the needs of the African HIV vaccine community in real time, strengthen communications and information across the different African sectors working to advance vaccine research, and bring us closer to the development of an effective AIDS vaccine for Africa.