Prevention Mission

The overarching mission of The University of Pennsylvania HIV Clinical Trials Unit (UPENN HIV CTU) is to develop and evaluate interventions designed to reduce the spread of HIV. The Division promotes the application of scientifically sound data in the development of public health policies designed to respond to the HIV epidemic.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) has organized HIV/AIDS research agenda into five working networks to develop biomedical and behavioral interventions to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

UPENN HIV CTU is a research site for two of the networks:

  1. AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG)
  2. HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN)

The ACTG (AIDS Clinical Trials Group) is an international collaboration of scientists conducting clinical trials that are studying new treatments against HIV infection, AIDS, and AIDS-related opportunistic infections. The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) is an international collaboration of scientists and educators searching for an effective and safe HIV vaccine. The HVTN’s mission is to facilitate the process of testing preventive vaccines against HIV/AIDS and conducts all phases of clinical trials, from evaluating experimental vaccines for safety and the ability to stimulate immune responses, to testing vaccine efficacy.

The HVTU (HIV Vaccine Trials Unit) at the University of Pennsylvania shares the philosophy that recognizes the importance of public support in finding a vaccine against AIDS. Our staffs work actively to help community members understand the general science of HIV/AIDS vaccines, as well as research methods and clinical trial processes. Through our efforts, we hope to dispel some of the misconceptions that surround HIV/AIDS and human subject studies.