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German research institute holds AIDS vaccine conference

On 21-22 October the Robert Koch Institut (RKI) in Berlin hosted a scientific symposium on AIDS vaccine development and innovative therapy concepts. Conference sessions included panels on current AIDS vaccine strategies and AIDS vaccine development from laboratory studies to trials in humans. In the opening sessions, RKI president Reinhard Kurth called for increased funding for AIDS research in Germany and called the epidemic “the biggest medical catastrophe in our time.” Germany now spends 7 million euros annually on AIDS vaccine research. German regulatory authorities are currently reviewing a proposal for an IAVI co-sponsored trial of a vaccine called recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV), which combines a safe form of a virus called parvovirus with fragments of HIV genes.