Ireland Aid continues to support the search for an AIDS Vaccine in Developing Countries
Today Minister of State for Overseas Development and Human Rights, Tom Kitt TD met with Dr. Seth Berkley, President and CEO of IAVI (International Aids Vaccine Initiative), to discuss progress to date on vaccine research and Ireland Aid's continuing support of the initiative.
Since its recognition just 20 years ago, HIV/AIDS has spread to all countries across the globe and is likely to become the leading cause of death (due to an infectious disease) in the 21st century. Almost 9000 people die from AIDS every day. The vast number of these people are poor and live in poor countries.
Over the last ten years the volume of Ireland Aid funds committed to HIV/AIDS has increased ten fold. In 2002 alone, over €45 million was spent on HIV/AIDS programmes in the developing world.
Central to Ireland Aid's response to the HIV/AIDS crisis is the search for a vaccine. IAVI is the leading international agency conducting HIV/AIDS vaccine research relevant to developing countries. Since 1996 Ireland Aid has made a total contribution of just under € 5 million to IAVI.
At today's meeting the Minister of State, Tom Kitt said:
“In line with the Taoiseach's commitment to this issue, Ireland Aid has taken a leading role in the global fight against HIV/AIDS both in terms of treatment for those already infected and in preventing the spread of the disease. Central to any meaningful response to the HIV/AIDS crisis has to be the search for a safe, effective and affordable vaccine. To this end our support to IAVI, the leading agency conducting this vital research will continue into the future.”