Back to Top Skip to main content

World AIDS Day puts spotlight on landmark DoD study

Dr. John Mascola, director of the National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center, discusses HIV vaccine progress at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Nov. 26, during a World AIDS Day commemoration.  (U.S. Army photo) Dr. John Mascola, director of the National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center, discusses HIV vaccine progress at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Nov. 26, during a World AIDS Day commemoration. (U.S. Army photo)

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Research and Innovation | Global Health Engagement

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) hosted a World AIDS Day event Tuesday, Nov. 26, highlighting advances in DoD-led HIV research and celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Army-led RV144 HIV vaccine study.

WRAIR’s Military HIV Research Program or MHRP headed the RV144 study, the first-ever – and only to-date – clinical trial to demonstrate that an HIV vaccine regimen was safe and modestly effective in preventing HIV infection. The study sought to determine what methods could be used to lower risk of contracting the disease.

The RV144 trial represented a massive undertaking for the Army and serves as a model of international and interagency collaboration. It involved more than 16,000 adult volunteers and a large network of partners who still work with WRAIR today, including the Thai Ministry of Public Health; the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – part of the National Institutes of Health; and Sanofi Pasteur.

In 2009, the Army announced that the study’s investigational prime-boost vaccine regimen lowered the rate of HIV infection by 31.2 percent. These results, although modest, gave the global community hope that a vaccine to prevent HIV infection is possible at a time when such an achievement seemed elusive.

“RV144 was the light at the time in the field, without which we may have given up,” said Dr. John Mascola, director of the National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center and the featured speaker at WRAIR’s World AIDS Day event. “In the last 10 years of HIV vaccine progress, RV144 is the anchor.”

The landmark trial continues to provide scientific direction to help guide vaccine development and testing. RV144 and its follow-on trials allowed researchers to discover of risk factors, provide targets for optimizing vaccine boosting, and form a foundation for three HIV vaccine candidates currently undergoing efficacy testing. A video featuring many prominent HIV researchers who were involved with RV144 was shown at the World AIDS Day event.

Also at the event, Lt. Gen (Ret.) Eric B. Schoomaker, 42nd surgeon general of the United States Army and former commanding general of the United States Army Medical Command, highlighted the military’s earliest contributions to HIV research, which include the development of a disease staging system and promoting the finding that HIV can be transmitted heterosexually. The military’s HIV research efforts were consolidated in 1986 with the establishment of MHRP.

MHRP’s initial mission was to advance an HIV vaccine to protect service members and the global community from HIV, but has since expanded beyond vaccine development to include cure research and prevention and treatment services in Africa under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief or PEPFAR. Via PEPFAR initiatives, WRAIR provides life-saving antiretroviral therapy to more than 350,000 people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, which contributes to global health security.

WRAIR supports PEPFAR activities within military and civilian communities in four countries where it conducts research (Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya), which strengthens community trust and provides an ethical framework for clinical studies. The Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program, led by the U.S. Navy, is responsible for assisting foreign military partners with the development and implementation of military-specific HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs in more than 55 countries around the globe, also supported by PEPFAR.

“Those countries that partner with us on PEPFAR have a 40-percent decrease in violence and a 40-increase in political stability,” said WRAIR Commander Army Col. Deydre Teyhen. “So we say that soldier health is world health. But in fighting HIV/AIDS, WRAIR researchers are also working to advance world peace.”

More information can be found on the RV144 HIV Trial web page.

You also may be interested in...

Immunization Tool Kit 9th Edition

Publication
4/7/2021

A practical reference that facilitates and enhances the global delivery of quality immunization healthcare to Department of Defense (DoD) beneficiaries and employees. The Defense Health Agency Immunization Healthcare Division (DHA-IHD) publishes the Immunization Tool Kit based on national recommendations, evidenced-based, peer-reviewed published medical literature, and clinical practice guidelines.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare

Telemedicine advances put to the test during pandemic

Article
4/1/2021
Uniformed service member stands behind wall of computer screens

COVID-19 has led to the need for physical distancing and has overwhelmed the capacities of health systems, compelling many to adopt telehealth solutions.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Research and Innovation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Eight nations participate in West African virtual pandemic exercise

Article
3/24/2021
Picture of military personnel wearing a face mask looking at a laptop computer

Medical experts from six African nations, the United Kingdom and the United States, participated in a Virtual Pandemic Preparation and Response Engagement exercise.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Partners

Infant Immunization Week

Infographic
3/23/2021
Social media graphic for National Infant Immunization Week showing a service member holding a baby

Social media graphic for National Infant Immunization Week showing a service member holding a baby

Recommended Content:

April Toolkit | Immunization Healthcare

New Army surveillance program designed to keep service members safe

Article
3/10/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask hanging a light in a tree

Collecting vector samples allows for PHC-P scientists to analyze areas of interest for potential vector-borne diseases that could impact the health of the force.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Global Health Engagement | Bug-Borne Illnesses | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Call for abstracts open for Military Health System Research Symposium

Article
2/22/2021
Military personnel speaking in front of an audience at the Military Health Systems Research Symposium

Abstracts for this year’s MHSRS are due by March 31.

Recommended Content:

About the MHS | Research and Innovation

Order of Military Medical Merit presented to USU medical student

Article
2/19/2021
Military personnel receiving the Order of Military Merit

Army 2nd becomes the first USU medical student to receive the Order of the Military Medical Merit.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement

Marines, Sailors with PHIBRON 11, 31st MEU receive COVID-19 vaccine

Article
2/19/2021
Military health personnel giving the COVID-19 Vaccine to military personnel

Vaccination for service members is voluntary, as vaccines are currently authorized for emergency use.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

WRNMMC’s participation in APOLLO program furthers cancer research

Article
2/4/2021
Two groups of vials on a table

The MCC serves as the preeminent cancer research and treatment facility within the Department of Defense.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Health Readiness

Innovative mobile technologies impact DOD health surveillance

Article
2/2/2021
Medical personnel using a syringe to inject a fluid into a test tube

Early detection of infectious diseases in the field to protect the troops.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation | Technology

Flu Vaccination Trends Among Military Beneficiaries (December 2020)

Report
1/26/2021

This issue brief explores time trends for flu vaccination rates among military health care beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Survey of DoD Beneficiaries | Immunization Healthcare | Immunization Tool Kit

NAMRU-SA partakes in virtual San Antonio postdoctoral research forum

Article
1/19/2021
Military officer sitting at her desk and smiling

For NAMRU-SA it was an opportunity to highlight the unit’s battlefield health and trauma care initiatives.

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation

Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program

Congressional Testimony
1/11/2021

S. 3159, SAC Report for FY 2019 , 115-290 , Pg. 210

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation

MHS operational innovations continue in battle against COVID-19

Article
1/5/2021
Two medical personnel, wearing full PPE, in an operating room

MHS innovations in 2020 include a new registry for real-time COVID-19 data and a system to free up hospital beds and protect patients from the disease.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation | Innovation | Technology | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DHA’s IT innovation continues during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
12/31/2020
Three military personnel, wearing masks, in front of a computer screen

IT innovations keep pace despite COVID-19 road blocks.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation | Technology | MHS GENESIS
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 18

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.