6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
A scanning electron micrograph of HIV (spherical in appearance) co-cultivated with human lymphocytes. The Population Council conducts basic biomedical research about the HIV infection process. Findings from this research are used in the development of candidate microbicides, and may one day be used in the development of an HIV vaccine. Photo: C. Goldsmith, P. Feorino, E.L. Palmer, W.R. McManus/CDC
- Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
- Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
The goal of the Population Council's HIV and AIDS program is to arrest the spread of the HIV epidemic in developing countries and to enable people to reduce or eliminate the impact of HIV on their own health, and on their families, communities, and societies. To achieve these goals, the Council brings its wide array of capabilities, including biomedical expertise to develop candidate microbicides and to explore the immunology of HIV infection; social science and health-related knowledge to understand better the social, behavioral, and biomedical aspects of HIV and AIDS; strong relationships with policymakers and program managers that facilitate the creation of evidence-based policies; and the time-honed know-how needed to assist in the development, evaluation, and scale-up of effective service-delivery models. Two of the Council's key anti-HIV initiatives are the Horizons program and the microbicides program.
The Population Council has been working for two decades to develop safe and effective vaginal microbicides. The recently completed Phase 3 clinical trial of the Council’s candidate microbicide Carraguard® was a milestone for microbicides development.
The Carraguard Phase 3 trial did not show that Carraguard is effective in preventing HIV transmission during vaginal sex. However, Carraguard was shown to be safe for use during vaginal sex over a two-year period. This finding is important because Carraguard is an ingredient of next-generation microbicide candidates being developed at the Council. Several of these candidates combine Carraguard with one or more ingredients that have been shown to be effective in preventing virus transmission in laboratory settings. Carraguard is the first candidate microbicide to have completed a Phase 3 trial without any safety concerns (news release).
Population Council research on malaria has examined the impact of the disease on safe motherhood and general mortality.
- The Population Council's projects on HIV and AIDS are too numerous to list here; read more about the Council's HIV and AIDS program.