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The Vaccine Advocacy Resource Group (VARG), is an independent, advocate led, global team of AIDS prevention research advocates that play a critical liaison role in the highly complex field of HIV vaccine research.


HIV vaccine research is complex; the role of an HIV vaccine advocate is challenging. Explaining the hopeful, yet slow and complicated progress in HIV vaccine research to non-scientific stakeholders requires people with relatively deep knowledge of complex science, research process, and related technical issues. Likewise, the critical role of representing stakeholder concerns to HIV vaccine researchers requires someone who is able to claim the traditionally privileged space previously occupied by scientists/researchers and command attention and respect.

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Despite these challenges, advocates need to continue to promote meaningful engagement between scientists and strengthen accountability and transparency of clinical research and community support and ownership of HIV vaccine clinical trials.

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The VARG hold’s trial leadership to account where needed, ensures that community engagement is sincere and representative and that feedback from community engagement is taken on board and impacts…


the trial design/ implementation in a way that honors the trust that the community has placed in the trial process. The VARG is also uniquely positioned to support the work of community advisory boards within trials through ongoing engagement, peer learning and solidarity.



  • Believes that a HIV vaccine presents the most viable option to stem the tide of HIV globally, and its development in a timely manner is essential.
  • Recognises that HIV vaccine research takes place in some of the most unequal societies in the world, and that issues related to and as a consequence of poverty, class, race and gender impacts research design, implementation and future access to an HIV vaccine.
  • Recognises the need to build the capacity of scientists by advocates and vice versa in order to maintain synergistic pressure for HIV vaccine research and development to continue.
  • Racial, class, ethnic and gender representation from trial leadership to trial participant needs to be constantly analyzed, challenged and addressed where disparities exist
  • Promotes the Good Participatory Practice Guidelines as an integral and systematic process for effective stakeholder engagement for HIV vaccine research.