The Canadian government has teamed up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to collaborate in a scheme designed to develop a HIV/AIDS vaccine.

The government has pledged $95.3 million to the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative, while the Foundation will provide up to $24 million. Under the scheme, a facility will be set up in Canada, at a site yet to be decided, which will increase “the global capacity to produce HIV vaccine candidates for use in clinical trials”. These trials will be conducted “mostly in and for the benefit of low- and middle-income countries,” the two said.

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that the collaboration “will contribute to the global effort to develop a safe, effective, affordable and globally accessible HIV-vaccine,” and Bill Gates noted that this new initiative will come under the umbrella of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, a global alliance of independent organizations established in 2003.

"At that time, we recognised that no single company or government alone could take on this challenge, that in fact a number of organizations would need to work together," said Mr Gates, co-founder of Microsoft. The Enterprise estimates there were nearly five million new HIV infections in 2005, and that nearly 40 million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS worldwide.