Seth Berkley, President and founder of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, is a medical doctor specializing in infectious disease epidemiology and international health. The author of over 85 publications, the[…]
Seth Berkley: When we come into a new community, the question is who can help us do this research. We’re trying to do both clinical trials but we’re also trying to work in countries that have research capabilities as well. We just launched a program in India for example with medicinal chemists. Who are medicinal chemists? They’re the chemists who worked in these large generic manufacturers who used to try to figure out how to make drugs off patent cheaply. There are a lot of them in India. They’re fabulous scientists. We got a group of them together and said could you help us try to solve some of these problems on HIV and put a lot of people power into trying to solve it in a way that we might not be able to afford to do it in another place. On the trial side going into a community and getting a group engaged, developing the trust, having them understand that we’re there to work with them, that if we succeed with the vaccine, that it will be made available to the communities, that this will have effects for them and for the whole world, and again, making sure that it is not seen as an exploitive phenomena. It’s absolutely critical in trying to build those relationships.