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Community Events Promote HIV Vaccine Awareness in Kenya

June 18, 2009

May 18—HIV Vaccine Awareness Day—promotes the continued urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS. It is also acknowledges the vital contributions of approximately 20,000 volunteers enrolled in AIDS vaccine trials around the world today who have selflessly committed to advancing research.

In recognition, Walter Reed Project-Kenya held community events that educated more than 400 community members, and urged attendees to utilize the VCT (voluntary counseling testing) services on site. A total of 47 were counseled and tested.

Guest speaker, Hannington Onyango, National AIDS Control Council Field Officer, shared that the Kenya government has committed via the Strategic Plan for 2010–2015 to play a prominent role in seeking solutions to stop the spread of AIDS.

The District HIV/AIDS Technical Committee’s District Commissioner, David Darusi, acknowledged the role Walter Reed Project-Kenya is playing in the research, treatment, care and prevention of HIV/AIDS in the South Rift region, noting the improved infrastructure at Kericho District Hospital to offer the services.

May 18 - World AIDS Vaccine Day

May 18 marked the 10th anniversary of former US President Bill Clinton’s 1997 commencement address at Morgan State University, where he challenged the world to develop an AIDS vaccine within a decade. Ten years after Clinton’s call, an effective AIDS vaccine continues to elude us. A vaccine that stops the spread of AIDS will be one of the world’s greatest achievements.