This blog was written by GHC Policy Communications Intern Katrina Overland.
The third annual Beth Waters Memorial Lecture focused on an issue Beth Waters herself was a fierce supporter of AIDS vaccine research and advocacy. This year’s featured speaker, Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC, delivered an engaging and passionate lecture on AIDS vaccine development while also sharing his memories of Beth Waters, the inspiration for this lecture series.
The Global Health Council is proud to be a host for this annual lecture series featuring prestigious vaccine advocates and experts – those, who like Beth Waters, believe that vaccines are a critical piece in the global health puzzle. This year’s lecture, “The Road to Developing an AIDS Vaccine: Lessons Learned in Research and Advocacy,” focused on “eight great lessons” Warren has learned from human vaccine trials. Warren wove a narrative based on these lessons, including “even a non-successful trial is useful science,” to ultimately explain why human trials are critical at this stage in vaccine research.
Though Warren focused on vaccine research, he did not herald it as the ultimate step in ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and concluded by speaking about the need for more integration of all health sectors related to HIV/AIDS – from combination prevention to treatment.
Warren took questions from professionals with experience in different areas of HIV/AIDS research— from the One Campaign to people working on microbial gels — but he emphasized the need for the HIV/AIDS community to come together and pool resources and research rather than working against each other in the policy arena.
The GHC’s Beth Waters Memorial Lecture page on our website has a link to a video of the entire program, information about Beth Waters and her advocacy and links to the first two Beth Waters Memorial Lectures.