Kelly's Blog

Making the HIV Vaccine a Reality

Posted in Breakthroughs, Community, Research on Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 by Kelly - 1 Comment

It is not just another ribbon on a lapel or people marching to raise awareness of a particular issue or disease. HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is about volunteers and community support for vital vaccine trials. Save the date on Sunday, May 18th and learn about the vaccine.

Without volunteers in the clinical trials, an HIV vaccine will not happen.

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day - May 18thFinding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent the spread of HIV is our best hope for stopping the AIDS epidemic.  In addition, there are complementary strategies to curb the spread of HIV including the use of microbicides, male circumcision, blood supply screening, and the use of clean syringes and condoms.

Multiple clinical trials are also taking place to determine whether giving antiretroviral therapy (ART) to HIV-negative people is an effective means of preventing infection. The question remains would you take the drugs to prevent infection?

Until we have a vaccine. these strategies are our only hope against HIV infection. But right now, we are not winning this war.

Results were released from an AIDS vaccine phase III trial in Thailand, which showed – for the first time – that the risk of HIV infection can be reduced by a vaccine.  This study was the largest AIDS vaccine trial to date, with over 16,000 participants. It indicated that the vaccine regimen reduced HIV risk by approximately 30 percent.

But much more research must be done.

There remains a great deal of misunderstanding about HIV vaccine research. The success of HIV vaccine studies depends on the understanding, trust, support, and participation of communities across the country. It depends on people volunteering to be part of several ongoing clinical trials.

How can you help? You can play a part in the search for an HIV vaccine by educating yourself and others about HIV vaccine research. There is a great deal of information about the HIV vaccine and clinic trials at

If you are interested, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has opened enrollment in HVTN 505, an exploratory HIV vaccine clinical study examining whether a two-part vaccine regimen can decrease viral load in study participants who later become infected with HIV. HVTN 505 is taking place in 12 U.S. cities and is enrolling 1,350 HIV-negative men ages 18 to 45 years who have sex with men.

You can find information about this new study at

I’ve put links to the fact sheets provided by the National Institutes of Health on our new Info Center at We will also have more information in the coming weeks in our weekly HIV Living Without Limitations e-newsletter. You can sign up for HLWL in the right column on this page.

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One Response to “Making the HIV Vaccine a Reality”

  • Kamie says:

    Vaccines are just not going to work here. We got to stay focused on prevention and not on some future cure that is a long way off.

    Thanks kelly for your insights.

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