India bears a heavy disease burden of HIV/AIDS infected and affected people. A safe, effective and accessible preventive AIDS vaccine, used along with other preventive interventions, is urgently needed to stem the epidemic. This review highlights the extensive preparedness activities undertaken from 2002 by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), its Indian government and non-government partners with the Indian scientific, political, media and community stakeholders and the capacity building process, before the conduct of the first ever AIDS vaccine trials in India in early 2005. Issues addressed included mistrust of clinical research due to past history of some unethical trials, transparency, community involvement, stigma and discrimination, provision for care and treatment of participants, informed consent, gender considerations, approval process, and operational aspects. The strong political support along with preparedness activities led to the successful conduct of AIDS vaccine trials enrolling equitably healthy women and men from all sections of society. This has paved the way for future vaccine trials in the country.
Bahri, J.; Chataway, M.; Das, S.; Excler, J.L.; Ganguly, N.K.; Ghosh, M.D.; Kapoor, S.; Kochhar, S.; Nayyar, A. Preparedness for AIDS vaccine trials in India. Indian Journal of Medical Research (2008) 127: 531-538.