Purpose of review: To describe and compare the diverse organizational structures and funding mechanisms applied to advance HIV preventive vaccine research and development and to help explain and inform evolving infrastructures and collaborative funding models.
Recent findings: On the basis of models that have been tried, improved or abandoned over three decades, the field seems to have settled into a relatively stable set of diverse initiatives, each with its own organizational signature. At the same time, this set of organizations is forging cross-organizational collaborations, which promise to acquire newly emergent beneficial properties.
Summary: Strong motivation to expedite HIV vaccine R&D has driven a diversity of customized and inventive organizational approaches, largely government and foundation funded. Although no one approach has proven a panacea, the field has evolved into a constellation of often overlapping organizations that complement or reinforce one another. The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, a responsive, rapidly evolving loose infrastructure, is an innovative collaboration to catalyze that evolution.