Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

A Shot at Immunity: Volunteers Line Up to Try Live-Virus HIV Vaccine

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

A Shot at Immunity: Volunteers Line Up to Try Live-Virus HIV Vaccine

Article excerpt

When the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care started its vaccine initiative in August, the Chicago-based group hoped to garner some attention for an HIV vaccine. And when the group announced last month that it had lined up 50 volunteers willing to be injected with a live-virus vaccine, they found it.

The idea of human guinea pigs willing to risk infection for the sake of science brought attention to the lack of progress on an HIV vaccine--just what IAPAC wanted. "We wanted to see vaccine development have the same intense focus on it as research for new treatment," says Jose Zuniga, deputy director of IAPAC and a vaccine volunteer. "It just hasn't happened, and it may now. "

Supporters of the trial, which would establish the safety of the vaccine, have to convince the government of the merit of their cause. In addition to needing legislation that would indemnify the vaccine maker from litigation should something go wrong, the vaccine's proponents also need approval from the Food and Drug Administration before they can begin testing. …

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