by CIO Staff

Gates Foundation Takes on AIDS With $287M in Grants

Jul 20, 20062 mins
IT Leadership

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said on Wednesday that it will donate $287 million worth of grants over the coming five years to help build an international team of scientists and researchers to develop an effective AIDS vaccine, the Associated Press reports via Yahoo News.

Dr. Nicholas Hellmann, acting director of the Gates Foundation’s HIV, TB and reproductive health program, told the AP the contribution is much needed.

“Unfortunately, developing an effective HIV vaccine has proven to be tremendously difficult, and despite the committed efforts of many researchers around the world, progress simply has not been fast enough,” Hellman told the AP.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates
Bill Gates

Hellman also said that it may be a decade or more before a working vaccine is discovered, according to the AP.

Roughly 165 researchers in 19 countries are to receive grant money from the Gates Foundation, and each of them had to agree to frequently share and compare their test results with other participants, even if they’re current or past competitors, the AP reports.

Five grants will go toward building facilities to vet participants’ findings, and 11 will go to research projects, including one in which parties will look for antibodies to fight and neutralize HIV, and another where researchers will attempt to find a method by which cells could be manipulated so they become immune to the virus, according to the AP.

In June, Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman, handed over his chief software architect title and said he would leave his day-to-day role at the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant in 2008 to concentrate his efforts on his charity. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to improving global health care.

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