HVTN Regional Meeting, 06-08 February, Johannesburg, South Africa

25 February 2023

The annual HVTN regional meeting resumed this year after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was attended by the Ethekwini Clinical Research Site Principal Investigators (PI), Study Coordinators, Clinical and Community staff. Dr Carl W. Dieffenbach, Director of the Division of AIDS (DAIDS), gave the opening address which covered the history for HIV vaccine development to date and the next steps in vaccine development.

Prof Nigel Garrett, Protocol chair of the Ubuntu trial presented the ‘CoVPN 3008 Ubuntu trial update’ and presented to the Community Breakout session. Dr Sharana Mahomed, HVTN 140 protocol co-chair and national PI, gave a presentation on ‘CAPRISA 012 parts B & C - CAP256V2LS + VRC07-523LS’ at a plenary session. Dr Nivashnee Naicker, HVTN 305 protocol co-chair and national PI, facilitated the HVTN 305 all site Q and A training session. Some of the key discussions at this year’s meeting was around monoclonal antibody trials and the future of COVID-19 vaccines.

Photo (L-R): Dr Nivashnee Naicker, Ms Bongi Zuma, Ms Nirosha Gokul, Prof Nigel Garrett, Ms Ivy Kaunda, Ms Amanda Khuzwayo, Dr Nicola Bodley and Dr Upasna Singh

Prof Garrett and Dr Mahomed were invited to discuss future HVTN bnAb efficacy trial planning. Overall, the meeting was an exciting opportunity to regroup after a tumultuous three years of the COVID-19 pandemic and to shift focus back to HIV vaccine development, with a range of experimental medicine trials expected in the next few years