Why test an HIV vaccine here? Why now?

The University of Pennsylvania HIV Prevention Research Division is one of 19 research facilities in the U.S. participating in  new studies seeking a safe, effective, affordable HIV vaccine. We know HIV vaccines are our best hope of ending AIDS. Why here? Why now? And most importantly, why should you consider participating?

Over 23,070 Philadelphia AIDS cases (not HIV infections- just AIDS cases) have been reported to the city since the epidemic began in 1981.  In 2014, estimates show that over 300 men who have sex with men were diagnosed with HIV infections in Philadelphia.  Even though condoms and good HIV treatment medicines are available, men continue to become infected with HIV every day in Philadelphia.

Conducting an HIV vaccine trial is a significant undertaking that requires many resources and a thoughtful understanding of the affected community. UPenn’s HIV Prevention Research Division has longstanding expertise in this kind of project. The staff includes experienced doctors, nurses, and researchers as well as first-rate laboratory facilities. As important, the Penn group is highly committed to sustaining an excellent relationship with the LGBT community in Philadelphia.

Having the most committed research team, or even a potentially promising vaccine, are useless unless there are people willing to take the brave step of considering participation in vaccine research studies.  Such an opportunity exists right now. UPenn is looking for 18 to 50 year old HIV negative people to participate in an HIV vaccine study. You cannot get HIV from the vaccine, but you can play a role in ending the HIV epidemic.


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