Introducing the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)

In honor of National AIDS Awareness month, we'll be offering a charitable vgift to help raise funds for Priced at $2.99, we'll contribute 100 percent of gross proceeds to help foster the development and global distribution of an affordable HIV vaccine.

Here's an excerpt from their Web site:

What We Do

Our core mission is to support in every way the development of preventive AIDS vaccines that are not only safe and effective, but also accessible to all people. To that end, IAVI invests the bulk of its resources in the research and clinical assessment of candidate vaccines against strains of HIV that are prevalent in the developing world, where some 95% of new HIV infections occur.

Our scientific team works with more than 40 academic, commercial and government institutions to develop and assess candidate HIV vaccines. Together, our partners and we have so far evaluated six vaccines in early-stage clinical trials conducted in 11 countries across four continents. To do this critical work, we, together with local research institutions, have developed a network of sophisticated laboratories in India and in southern and eastern Africa. Our Human Immunobiology Laboratory in London helps coordinate the work of these labs.

In the arena of vaccine design, we have brought leading HIV researchers together into three scientific consortia–the Neutralizing Antibody Consortium (NAC), the HIV Live-Attenuated Consortium and the Vectors Consortium—to address key obstacles to the development of an effective AIDS vaccine and to generate novel candidates.

In developing countries, we work closely with governmental, community and civic organizations to ensure the transparent and ethical conduct of clinical trials. To that end, we support the staffing and training of Community Advisory Boards, which represent the communities in which clinical trials are conducted and help design trial protocols. We help educate people about vaccine trials and the need for AIDS vaccines. And we help build both the clinical and scientific capacity required to run a long-term program of vaccine trials.

We also analyze and develop policies to promote the involvement of the private sector in AIDS vaccine research and development. And we advocate for policies that will ensure that once an AIDS vaccine is developed, it will be swiftly produced, distributed and made affordable worldwide.


Baby Kang

Love Without Boundaries - Baby Kang

In 2003, Amy Eldridge, a mom to seven from Oklahoma, went back to China to visit her daughter's orphanage. During her visit, she was able to see and hold many babies. In the back corner of one of the baby rooms, she saw a tiny baby boy who was so blue. Little Kang had a very serious heart defect, but sadly the orphanage didn't have any funding for his surgery. During this trip, she also met three other children with heart defects. One three year old little girl was so sick that she had to keep kneeling to catch her breath as she walked across the room.

Once home, Amy didn't know how she could help. She knew that she was one of the few people who knew about these precious children, and so she felt she had to do something to try and save their lives. She wrote to family and friends, asking if they could help fund the tiny baby's heart surgery. The plea was passed on, and soon Amy was receiving the much need funds for this baby's surgery. Amazingly, there was enough money to pay for all four children to be healed! In addition, she was contacted by a heart surgeon from Denver, Colorado, who was preparing for a medical mission to China to perform heart surgeries. Dr. Mitchell offered to help the four children she had met.

On the night before the children's operations, it began to snow. Snow is a sign of good luck in China, and the children had never seen it before since they were from a southern province. What a lovely image of these kids having their noses pressed against the hospital room window looking at their first snow with wonder on the night before they were to be healed.

The first three surgeries went great, and then baby Kang was the last case Dr. Mitchell was going to do before heading back to the US. It was supposed to be a "routine" TOF surgery to fix four defects, but when he cut open Kang's chest, he realized that the initial reports he was given on the baby’s heart were not correct. He called Amy after the surgery and told her that he had stood in the OR holding Kang’s tiny heart in his hand, with his eyes closed, trying to FEEL where the holes in his heart were. He left for the US the day after doing Kang's surgery. It was in the middle of the night that Amy got a frantic call from Dr. Li, the Chinese surgeon in Hangzhou. Kang had begun bleeding, and Dr. Li needed to perform another surgery. Days later, Kang started going into kidney failure, and again Amy got an urgent phone call from China. The doctors felt that baby Kang was definitely going to pass away. Amy sent out an email asking for worldwide prayers for baby Kang ... and he rallied miraculously. Even the doctors in China said they had never seen anything like it.

Today, baby Kang is a happy, healthy 7-year old who has a wonderful family of his very own. His surgery not only gave him the gift of life, but it allowed him to have a second chance at being completely loved through the blessings of adoption. In fact, all four of the original children are now in permanent homes. Amy realized through these heart surgeries that everyone can truly make a difference in the world if they will just step out in faith to help another in need. She began Love Without Boundaries following these operations, with the goal of providing even more hope and healing to those children who live as orphans. To date, over 1,000 children helped by LWB have been adopted into loving homes.

Rainbow Twins

Love Without Boundaries – Rainbow Twins

"The Rainbow Twins" (named because their two given names of Hong and Cai combine to make up the Chinese word for "rainbow") entered this world weighing less than two pounds each. They were abandoned in front of an orphanage by extremely poor migrant workers who had no way to care for their daughters' emergency medical needs. The orphanage director contacted LWB immediately, and we were able to get the girls moved to a top children's hospital in Shanghai within hours. The twins spent the next three months in the hospital, slowly gaining the weight and strength they needed to survive.

Once they were ready to be discharged from the hospital, we moved the girls to our Heartbridge Pediatric Healing Home outside of Beijing, which provides tender loving care to some of China's most vulnerable orphans. Soon after entering our healing home, both twins started gaining weight rapidly. Hong and Cai were given frequent small feedings, plenty of rest, and lots of attention and hugs.

Just five months later, the girls had reached a weight of 12 pounds each and were considered well enough for adoption! All of us at LWB celebrated that Hong and Cai had beaten all the odds to bless this world with their presence. Not only did they beat the odds, but they received the greatest gift of all... a family! This past summer they were adopted and are now home with their very own family who will love them forever.

Love Without Boundaries Foundation is a worldwide group of volunteers dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned and impoverished children in China. We provide humanitarian aid in five key areas – Education, Foster Care, Healing Homes, Medical, and Orphanage Assistance – enabling children to receive families through adoption or to become self-sustaining members of their communities.

Welcome to LJ_Cares!

We’re pleased to introduce you to LJ_Cares, a new LiveJournal community dedicated to raising awareness and funds for U.S. charitable organizations that improve the health and well-being of people around the world. Each month, we’ll spotlight a nonprofit that is making a significant global impact through medical research, public outreach, and/or humanitarian social programs. Charities will be selected in accordance with the U.S. calendar of national health observances on the bases of a high rating (of over 60%) on and global scope of impact.

In this, our inaugural month of November, we will celebrate national adoption month by offering a charitable virtual gift (priced at $2.99) to support Love Without Boundaries, a humanitarian organization that saves the lives of orphans with life-threatening diseases and places them in loving homes around the world. LiveJournal will donate 100% of net proceeds from the sale of charitable vgifts (we'll cover the cost of credit card transaction fees).

To introduce you to their work, we'll be bringing you some of their amazing success stories in the posts that follow. We hope you'll Join lj_cares and celebrate the joy of giving.