The HIV Vaccine Trials Network has launched a new HIV awareness campaign — the Red Ribbon Registry — to help end HIV. 

Built by Oracle, the unique cloud-based registry makes it easy for anyone to volunteer to be considered for an HIV clinical study — increasing the chances of finding a cure, said the partners.

The registry expands on Oracle’s work with the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Oracle developed the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) Volunteer Screening Registry used to capture and analyze nearly 700,000 participant registrations for COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutics clinical studies in just six months.

“The urgency to find answers to COVID-19 completely changed how the industry approached clinical studies,” said Mike Sicilia, executive vice president of Oracle Industries. 

“We were able to break down the traditional study silos to work in a public/private partnership to crowd-source volunteers – anyone, from anywhere in the US – that ultimately helped get a vaccine to market in less than a year. This is the future of clinical research and we are taking all we learned and built during COVID-19 and applying it to other public health issues, like HIV.”

With the Oracle Digital Recruitment cloud technology, the program will initially support dozens of clinical trial sites across the U.S. that are actively recruiting volunteers for HIV treatment and prevention studies.

More than 700,000 people have died from HIV-related illnesses in the U.S. with approximately 1.2 million people living with HIV today and nearly 40,000 new diagnoses each year. 

Oracle said the Red Ribbon Registry aims to bring the same technological innovation and urgency of the COVID-19 response to the global search for a preventive HIV vaccine, improved therapeutics and a cure.

Jim Kublin, a principal staff scientist in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division of Fred Hutch, said while HIV awareness has taken a back seat in recent years, much of the progress and success of the COVID-19 vaccines were on the shoulders of the HIV vaccine research.

“Continuing our work with Oracle during the COVID-19 pandemic and building on the success of the registry approach is an example of giving back to the HIV research community for the foundational work on COVID-19,” Kublin said. 

“We want to ensure that we’re doing all we can to continue the momentum gained from tremendous enthusiasm of the public to participate in COVID-19 research and making people aware that there are options for them to help fight these debilitating diseases and be better prepared for future pandemics,” he said. 

Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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