Immune-boosting: New clinical trial of a therapeutic vaccine for people living with HIV
September 29, 2000
A new study of a therapeutic vaccine for people living with HIV is coming to Seattle. The trial, being conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington Vaccine Evaluation Unit, is designed to look at the safety of a new HIV-1 gag DNA vaccine (made by Merck Research Laboratories) and its ability to stimulate the immune systems of people living with HIV.
Unlike a vaccine designed to protect people from ever getting a virus, a therapeutic vaccine is intended to help the body fight a virus it already has. It is thought that therapeutic vaccines will play an especially important role in the treatment of HIV-positive people, on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), with undetectable viral loads. While there are many important reasons to keep a person's viral load as low as possible, one of the disadvantages of having only low levels of HIV in the blood is that the immune system stops creating cells specifically targeted at HIV. A therapeutic vaccine acts by introducing pieces of HIV (that are NOT able to cause any infection) into the blood, in an attempt to stimulate the immune system to produce HIV-fighting cells.
The study is 26 months long and there are 19 visits over that two year period. Volunteers are paid $50.00 per visit beginning at study enrollment. Individuals must meet the following criteria for the initial eligibility for this study:
If you meet the above criteria and would like more information about this study, please contact the trial nurse, David Berger, RN at (206) 667-2344.
This article was provided by Seattle Treatment Education Project. It is a part of the publication STEP Ezine.