Group seeks AIDS vaccine
Canada, Gates donate $119m
TORONTO -- The Canadian government and Bill Gates yesterday announced an initiative to establish a research institute to develop an AIDS vaccine, committing up to $119 million to the project.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his government has pledged $95.3 million to a new fund, the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative, while the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has promised up to $24 million.
Gates's $33 billion foundation has become a world leader in fighting AIDS, other epidemic diseases, and extreme poverty, particularly in the developing world.
"Between Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we will contribute to the effort to develop a safe, effective, affordable, and globally accessible HIV vaccine," Harper said alongside Gates in the capital, Ottawa.
"HIV/AIDS is one of the most heart-wrenching health crises the world has ever seen," Harper said. "It is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time."
The money will help build a research facility and support Canadian scientists' work with partners around the world. The goal is the manufacture of a vaccine within a decade.
Gates said the Canadian initiative would come under the umbrella of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, an alliance of independent organizations established in 2003 that is dedicated to the development of an HIV vaccine.
"At that time, we recognized that no single company or government alone could take on this challenge, that, in fact, a number of organizations would need to work together," the
The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise estimates that there were nearly 5 million new HIV infections in 2005 and that nearly 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide.