HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

May 18

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is observed every year on May 18 and commemorates U.S. President Bill Clinton’s 1997 declaration that, “only a truly effective, preventive HIV vaccine can limit and eventually eliminate the threat of AIDS.” HIV Vaccine Awareness Day recognizes the many volunteers, community members, health professionals, and scientists working together to develop a vaccine to prevent HIV. It is also an opportunity to educate communities about the importance of preventive HIV vaccine research. A safe and effective preventive HIV vaccine would play an essential role in ending the HIV pandemic.

NIH continues to fund HIV vaccine research. Learn more about HIV vaccine clinical studies here.

While there is still work to be done to develop a safe, effective HIV vaccine, researchers are making promising headway, including harnessing broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) that can block most strains of the virus from entering immune cells. In addition, as HIV vaccine science has advanced, insights from this research provided a foundation for rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines. This, in turn, has spurred clinical trials for messenger RNA (mRNA)-based HIV vaccine candidates that are now in Phase 1 clinical trials

Check out these HIVinfo resources to learn more: 

Social Media

Use the hashtag #HVAD to follow the conversation on social media. Check out the “Use Digital Communication” resources on the HIV Vaccine Awareness Day webpage for tips on how to amplify the conversation and spread awareness on social media.

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day logo.

NIH HIV Vaccine Research

NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR)

  • FY 2021–2025 NIH Strategic Plan for HIV and HIV-Related Research (NIH HIV Strategic Plan). The NIH HIV Strategic Plan provides a roadmap for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to guide HIV-related research and direct HIV research funding to the highest-priority areas to help end HIV. NIH has several priorities for HIV-related research; one of these priorities is to reduce the incidence of HIV. As part of that goal, NIH supports research to develop an effective vaccine, as well as research on strategies to encourage people to receive an HIV vaccine when it is available. 
  • This OAR webpage describes how NIH-funded research is helping to reduce the incidence of HIV through clinical trials to test effectiveness of potential HIV vaccines, as well as through research to advance other nonvaccine prevention methods. 

NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

  • In a statement marking HIV Vaccine Awareness Day 2023, Hugh Auchincloss, M.D., Acting Director of NIAID, and Bill G. Kapogiannis, M.D., Acting NIH Associate Director for AIDS Research and Acting Director of OAR, discuss the “promising concepts” in HIV vaccine science and reaffirm NIH’s “commitment to generating scientific solutions that could end HIV.”
  • NIAID supports scientists who are conducting research to create a safe, effective HIV vaccine. Learn about approaches to HIV vaccine research and the history of HIV vaccine research. This infographic summarizes progress toward an HIV vaccine over time. Also, get answers to frequently asked questions about vaccine research, including questions on preventive HIV vaccine development on this NIAID webpage. 

HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN)

  • The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) is the world’s largest publicly funded multidisciplinary international collaboration facilitating the development of vaccines to prevent HIV. HVTN conducts all phases of clinical trials, from evaluating experimental vaccines for safety and immunogenicity to testing vaccine efficacy.

Clinical Trials About HIV Vaccines

  • provides information on the U.S. government’s HIV response. aims to expand visibility of relevant federal HIV policies, programs, and resources and to increase knowledge about HIV and access to HIV services to people with HIV or at risk of HIV acquisition. Learn more about HIV vaccines and find additional information about HIV Vaccine Awareness Day.