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SciDev.Net Examines Plans For India-S. Africa HIV Vaccine Research Project

SciDev.Net reports on an HIV vaccine research collaboration between researchers from India and South Africa to launch by the end of 2010.

“Virander Chauhan, director of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, told SciDev.Net that the five-year, US$1 million dollar project [which was approved by the governments of both countries earlier this year] will involve around five research groups from each country with core competence in basic and HIV vaccine research,” the news service writes.

The initial focus of the project will be on developing a vaccine that targets an HIV subtype, known as “clade C [that] accounts for around 90 percent of HIV infections in India and South Africa, which together have some of the highest infection rates in the world, Chauhan said.”

The article notes the significance of the decision to focus on this subtype of HIV, as “most research to date has focused on clade B, which dominates in Europe and the United States,” and also addresses the importance of collaborations in developing solutions to global health problems.

“A successful partnership [between India and South Africa] could serve as a model for similar South–South collaborations and inspire other developing countries to go the same route, Chauhan said,” SciDev.Net adds. Research collaborations between Africa and India are a topic of discussion at this week’s meeting of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World in Hyderabad, India, the news service notes.

The article also includes comments by Anastassios Pouris, director of the Institute for Technological Innovation at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, who calls on developed countries to increase their investments in the study of HIV/AIDS (Padma, 10/19).

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