Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
HIV Vaccine Human Trials Begin in Trinidad and Tobago
HIV vaccine human trials were expected to begin in Trinidad and Tobago yesterday, BBC Monitoring reports. The vaccine to be studied is a genetically engineered copy of HIV's "outer coat" protein, intended to produce antibodies to block the virus's entry into cells. Professor Courtenay Bartholomew, head of the Medical Research Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago, which will conduct the trials, has been "on the heels of the government" for two years to approve vaccine testing. He said that the vaccine is "absolutely safe," and that contracting AIDS from it would be "impossible." Forty volunteers without HIV are needed for the trial; thus far, about 20 candidates have been screened. Researchers will monitor the reaction of the volunteers' immune systems to the vaccine in order to "assess the response of antibodies and killer cells." In addition, they will advise volunteers on how to avoid becoming infected with HIV (BBC Monitoring, 6/20).
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