China Begins Phase II Clinical Trials of Experimental HIV/AIDS Vaccine
China on Saturday began Phase II clinical trials of an experimental, two-part HIV/AIDS vaccine, dispensing the first vaccine to six volunteers in the country's southern Guangxi province, Xinhua/People's Daily reports. Each of the participants received two milligrams of a vaccine containing HIV DNA and three months later will receive a vaccine containing poxvirus (Xinhua/People's Daily, 5/14). Chen Jie, deputy director of the country's Center for Disease Control in Guangxi, has said 49 volunteers ages 18 to 50 are expected to receive the experimental vaccines over the next year (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/14). As of Saturday, 34 volunteers in seven different groups had received vaccine injections in Phase I and II trials, and another 21 people are expected to receive the vaccine in about three months, according to Chen (Xinhua/Hindustan Times, 5/15). The safety of each of the vaccines was tested in Phase I trials, and Phase II trials are intended to evaluate the vaccines' combined safety, Chen said (Xinhua/People's Daily, 5/14). Data from the Phase I trials are expected to be released by the end of 2005, according to Chen (Xinhua/Hindustan Times, 5/15). The Chinese government estimates that there are 840,000 HIV-positive people in the country and that 80,000 of those people have AIDS. However, international experts and advocates say that the actual number of HIV-positive people in China probably is between one million and 1.5 million. UNAIDS has said that the number of HIV-positive people living in China could increase to 10 million by 2010 unless steps are taken to address the disease (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.