We've heard talk about this for years... But finally, this next week, researchers begin testing an AIDS vaccine on humans. In all, there are 30 volunteers set to begin Phase I of a study on an AIDS vaccine developed at Emory University and the National Institute of Health.
The vaccine uses two different components: two inoculations of a DNA vaccine that primes the immune system to recognize HIV, and the other is a booster. Neither contains the actual AIDS virus. The vaccine causes the immune system to respond to the unique features of HIV so that it can, in turn, recognize and fight the actual virus should it appear.
The first trial is expected to last a year. A second trial later will focus on the safety of the booster vaccine, and then a third study after that will test the two together. The volunteers are enrolled at three sites, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Washington at Seattle and the San Francisco Department of Public Health.