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Conversations with AIDS.gov - Cornelius Baker

Hello this is Miguel Gomez with AIDS.gov. I’m in Washington with a colleague, sir would you introduce yourself?

Hi I’m Cornelius Baker, Senior Communications Advisor at the AED Center on AIDS and Community Health. Project Director for the NIAID Vaccine Research and Education Initiative.

Thank you. Vaccine HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is coming up could you tell us what this day is about?

Yes. This day is about increasing the awareness in the United States about the need for an HIV vaccine and for all of our communities to support that effort.

When is the day and where can people go to learn more information?

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is May 18th and you can go to bethegeneration.nih.gov

Be The Generation, a great campaign. Can you explain a little bit about the campaign and some of the things you’ve learned?

Yes. You know we really need an HIV vaccine if we’re ever going to end the HIV epidemic and all of us in all of our communities, whether there’s HIV vaccine research occurring in our community or not can be a part of helping that effort we can certainly learn more about HIV vaccine research and we can support those who are volunteering to be part of a trial.

You have some wonderful partners who help support the effort. Can you share what those partners are doing?

Yes. We have a number of national and local partners across the country that are supporting HIV Vaccine Research from National Minority AIDS Council, NASTAD, AIDS Action, NESM, to groups like SisterLove and the AIDS Alliance for Children Youth and Families and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. There are just so many organizations that I can name and it really is an honor to work with them to support HIV vaccine research. And they do community forums, they do town hall meetings, they have information on their website. They have Facebook pages, they do all sorts of events in their communities just so that their communities are more informed, more knowledgeable and that we can all work together to make an HIV vaccine possible.

With BeTheGeneration you’ve learned a lot about our American public and how they feel about vaccines. What are some of the issues you’ve learned about?

Well unfortunately far too many Americans don’t know enough about HIV vaccine research including that it’s even happening. But we also know that many Americans have concerns about whether an HIV vaccine would be safe, whether they’re going to get HIV from the vaccine or from the research being conducted and so part of our effort is to help them understand that an HIV vaccine candidate, or the products that are being used to test for an HIV vaccine, they don’t have HIV in them. So you can’t get HIV from and HIV vaccine candidate and you can’t get HIV from being part of an HIV vaccine trial.

Again if people want to learn more, where do they go?

Well they go to bethegeneration.nih.gov.

Thank you and this is Miguel Gomez with AIDS.gov.