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‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About HIV Vaccines

By December 5, 2018No Comments

When World AIDS Day was first observed 30 years ago, Dr. Larry Corey was already in the thick of it, a scientific leader in the struggle to tame a pandemic that has now taken 35.4 million lives.

Today, the former president and director of Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center continues to lead international efforts to stop HIV/AIDS, focused on the search for an effective vaccine. He is a principal investigator for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, or HVTN, an organization he founded at Fred Hutch in 1998. Today it manages 18 clinical trials at 44 sites worldwide. They include three of the largest and most important trials of HIV vaccines.

In advance of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, Corey sat down for an interview at his Hutch office about that effort and the goal that has eluded HIV researchers for more than three decades.

“We are cautiously optimistic at this time in HIV vaccine development,” he said. “People look at me and say, ‘Why are you able to be so clear about this strategy?’ And I say, ‘I’ve lived this. This was my life when I was 40 years old.’”