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UCT drops HIV vaccine project

Resource type: News

Cape Times |

The department of science and technology, which is reviewing its funding of HIV vaccine research at the University of Cape Town, says it has to consider its “limited budget”. “There are a number of issues that need to be considered,” department spokesperson Nhlanhla Nyide said. “We have a limited budget and we have to make a strategic decision. Vaccine research has a long way to go.” Also, the department needed to consider other research projects as there were instances in which researchers thought that it sidelined certain fields. HIV vaccine research at UCT is funded by the Medical Research Council’s lead programme, the SA Aids Vaccine Initiative, which is facing an “extreme crisis” in funding as Eskom withdrew its R15-million grant in 2007. The department of health, which is among the other funders, is to continue funding the project for three years. The shortage of funds has led to some HIV projects being closed and a number of staff retrenchments. Danie Visser, UCT’s acting deputy vice-chancellor responsible for research, has said the university is “committed to finding solutions”. UCT could not immediately respond to queries on Wednesday.

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AIDS, HIV, University of Cape Town, vaccines