Center to host Congressional briefing on Military HIV program

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A map of MHRP center sites.

The Center for Global Health Policy is joining with AVAC and the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) to host a congressional briefing to discuss the importance of protecting funding for the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), on Friday, December 9, from 12 – 1:30 PM in Senate Russell 385.

Authorized by Congress in 1986, the MHRP’s primary focus is on developing a globally effective HIV-1 vaccine.  In 2009, the MHRP-sponsored HIV vaccine clinical trial, RV 144, demonstrated for the first time that an HIV vaccine was possible, reducing the rate of HIV infection in vaccinated volunteers by 31.2 percent.  On Sept. 19, 2011, the MHRP announced that it had identified two important molecular clues from the RV 144 trial – antibodies whose presence either increases or decreases the risk of HIV infection.

Through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funding, the MHRP also provides prevention, care, and treatment services to more than 100,000 people infected with HIV/AIDS in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Mozambique and Thailand. The MHRP leverages existing in-country technical expertise and administrative infrastructure to expand partnerships with local researchers, health care services and NGOs to implement PEPFAR activities.

Speakers will include:  Dr. Debbie Birx (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC), Dr. Alan Fix (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health), Col. Nelson Michael (MHRP) and Dr. Fred Sawe (WRAIR–PEPFAR program, Kenya). Lunch will be served.

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