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STATEMENT OF CONGRESSWOMAN YVETTE D. CLARKE on the opening of the AIDS Vaccine Design and Development Laboratory in Brooklyn

It is clear that HIV/AIDS is a global epidemic.  Lives have been extended by antiretroviral drugs, but globally, at least 70% of those who need ARVs do not have access to them.  What we need is a vaccine to protect those at risk from contracting HIV in the first place.  There are an estimated 7,000 people becoming infected with HIV every day; a vaccine would halt the spread and save countless lives here in Brooklyn and around the world.

This is why the work of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is so vitally important.  Their mission is to develop a safe, effective, accessible, and preventive HIV vaccine.  A cornerstone of this mission is the new AIDS Vaccine Design and Development Laboratory, located right here in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.  IAVI, in collaboration with SUNY Downstate Medical Center and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, will open the new lab on November 12, 2008.  This new Design Lab will join other IAVI labs, academic partners and researchers around the world in the search for a vaccine to make HIV infections a thing of the past, like we did with polio and small pox.

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