Formed in June 2007, the Community Advisory Board (CAB) is an initiative of the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Centre (VIC), in collaboration with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), Seattle, USA, which is one of the largest HIV vaccine research networks.
This committee is composed of a diverse group of about six to eight volunteer members representing the local population.
The CAB has the following goals:
- To inform the general population about the progress of HIV vaccine research, as well as clinical studies conducted at VIC.
- To review the information given to volunteers participating in the studies to ensure that it is complete and understandable.
- Discuss the ethical issues that research generates in society.
The roles of the CAB are as follows:
- To serve as a public spokesperson to foster dialogue with the HIV research community. The objective of the CAB is to identify concerns or problems in the public's understanding of certain aspects of research and HIV infection in order to improve the quality of information provided by scientists on this subject.
- Review and validation of information destined for volunteers participating in HIV clinical studies at the VIC. The aim is to ensure clarity and transparency of information provided to volunteers and compliance with ethical rules.
- Information network: to share the different strategies and progress of HIV research.
- Participation in HIV-related events, such as World AIDS Day, congresses, training in professional networks.
Chair of the CAB
Regional program coordinator of the Swiss Aids Federation in French-speaking Switzerland.
Using a hand-on approach, the national association coordinates programs with the groups most exposed to HIV (MSM, migrants, sex worker) as well as on issues concerning people living with HIV from a prevention and community health promotion perspective.
In addition, Florent has contributed and/or is still contributing to the development and implementation of various projects related to sexual health and/or community health:
Nurse and social worker
"Being an HIV vaccine tester is an opportunity for me to do something concrete in the face of this disease. Having spent 3 years in Africa, I was confronted with the harsh reality of AIDS and its impact on the lives of many people. As a caregiver, I want to contribute, in a modest way, to the search for solutions to eradicate this disease."
Christophe became a specialized educator after a career in the performing arts.
Following his involvement in recruiting participants for the AMP study - HVTN704, Christophe agreed to join the CAB in order to build on his rich experience with HVTN and with the gay and people living with HIV communities. His involvement with the CAB is a way to continue his commitment to this cause.
Currently an outreach social worker at Checkpoint Vaud (sexual health center for men who have sex with men and trans* people).
Benoît would like, through the CAB :
Sexual and reproductive health advisor and medical doctor
"I am part of the CAB because I love the contact with people. Our volunteers are people who have the most admirable motivations, but still, sometimes apprehensive questions or concerns due to a lack of information. Communication and ethic are at the heart of this process. This interface between science and humanity is essential because it is for them, for me and for all, a contribution to this research effort."
Community Health and Care Assistant at the CHUV Maternity Ward.
"I chose to participate in the HIV vaccine testing in memory of my older brother who unfortunately died of this scourge that is ravaging the world, particularly in Africa."
We thank our CAB members for their voluntary commitment.