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Local and Community News

Fighting AIDS: The Quest for an HIV Vaccine

May 19, 2003

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

"The HIV Research Section of the AIDS Office in the San Francisco Department of Public Health believes that an effective HIV vaccine is our best hope for stemming the epidemic worldwide. Every day 16,000 people contract HIV, which amounts to five million new infections annually. Nearly 40,000 of those are in the United States; half of that number is people of color. ... HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is also an opportunity for San Francisco to honor the approximately 250 volunteers who have participated in preventive HIV vaccine clinical trials. Their commitment is supported by dozens of individuals who serve on community advisory boards along with dedicated researchers and scientists.

"The search for a safe and effective vaccine to prevent HIV infection began when the virus was first identified in 1984, and each new test or clinical trial brings us closer to finding an effective vaccine. At present, more than 20 promising HIV vaccines are in various stages of testing. This summer, three new vaccine trials are beginning in San Francisco.

"This past year has been unique in the history of HIV vaccine development. In February, VaxGen released the results from the first large-scale vaccine trial. Overall, VaxGen's vaccine was not effective, and the truth behind its claims of efficacy among communities of color and women will remain unknown until further study is completed. ... At the Research Section, we are encouraged by the debate the VaxGen results sparked. ...

"We are committed to ...

  • Nurturing the dialogue that has begun with communities of color about getting involved from inception to completion of future trials. ...

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  • Adhering to our mission of conducting meaningful, ethical and respectful research with the collaboration of San Francisco's diverse communities. ...

  • Disseminating the results of this research to help inform ongoing prevention messages. ..."

Jennifer Sarche is a community educator in the HIV Research Section of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Back to other CDC news for May 19, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
San Francisco Chronicle
05.18.03; Jennifer Sarche

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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