Johnson & Johnson recently launched the DREAMS Innovation Challenge to encourage researchers to think of innovative ways to decrease HIV infections throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
The innovation challenge, which has an $85 million award, receives support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and Janssen Pharmaceutica, NV.
“We believe that breakthrough innovations needed to reduce the HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women can come from anywhere in the world,” Dr. Paul Stoffels, Johnson & Johnson's chief scientific officer for pharmaceuticals, said. “Our hope in supporting the DREAMS Innovation Challenge is to unleash new ideas to help us achieve by the end of 2017, 40 percent reduction in HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women living in 10 sub-Saharan countries.”
The main goal of the innovations should be focused on young women and adolescent girls living with 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
“While we have made considerable progress in the global response to HIV/AIDS, adolescent girls and young women have been largely left behind,” Deborah Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, said. “With girls and young women accounting for 71 percent of all new HIV infections among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, we urgently need innovative solutions that empower them to protect their health and pursue their dreams.”