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HIV Immunization
Sep 4, 2006

I am a person with HIV who meets the criteria to be involved in the Human Testing trials for the HIV vaccine. I am curious to know what the current level of thinking is on this issue and is it recommended. If it is recommended, what are the results one might expect and are there any negative side effects. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Daar

Thank you for your post.

Without knowing more specifics about the study you are refering to I can not give you a detailed answer. However, I can provide some general information.

The nature of clinical research is to better define the safety and activity of new interventions or therapeutics. In this case the study is likely testing a vaccine designed to stimulate responses to HIV with the goal that treatment can be stopped and virus can be controlled by the body without antiretroviral drugs. Most work in this area remains very early in development so how effective it will be is unknown. In general safety in these trials has been fairly good but I am certain is being evaluated as part of the study. It is important to note that when you enroll the investigator will go through details of what you are being asked to do, what is known from previous research about what you will be receiving and what possible risks will be associated with your participation. Only after you receive all of this information will you be able to make a fully informed decision. I encourage you to also discuss this study with your provider who can also provide important information as to whether this is an appropriate study for you as an individual.

While the ultimate decision as to whether you want to volunteer to participate in this study is entirely up to you, it is important that people at least consider participating in clinical research. Afterall, it is only because of this kind of activity that the field has advanced to the place it is today.

Best, Eric


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