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Vaccine trial
May 18, 2002

I know my questions will be answered when I meet with the protocol director (provided I still qualify)but the merck vaccine trial has come to my area and I think I am ready to take the plunge.My only concern is if I jump on this one and something better comes out(Like getting off meds sooner than what the time frame is will this one,I'll be excluded)Also, is this like gene therapy? What scares me is since this is a vaccine it's not like a medication trial and if you have a adverse effect you just stop taking the medication and let it wash out. I also feel though if everyone had my attitude no progress would be made in the hiv arena. Of course I want to benefit, but I also want to do my part to help speed things along for fellow sufferers,yet altering somthing in my body is kind of scary. Have you heard anything about the merck vaccine? I'm afraid the information I'll get will be biased, and I've never participated in a clinical trial before, so I don't know what to expect.

Response from Dr. Henry

I am confident that the consent form for the Merck trial wil explain the pluses and minuses of participation in great detail. I think that the consent form-as approved by the local human subjects committee-will be free of bias. You have some legitimate concerns that should be brought up with the study nurse/investigator. It is so early in the process of evaluation of therapeutic vaccines--we simply need results of some studies to shed light on the potential for that therapeutic approach. KH



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