Volunteers needed for Thai AIDS research

June 23, 2004 at 5:39 AM
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BANGKOK, June 23 (UPI) -- Results of a four-year experimental HIV/AIDS vaccine project in Thailand will be delayed one year, till 2008, for lack of volunteers to take part.

Health officials said they had recruited 5,224 people for the world's largest HIV vaccine trial on humans, less than one third the originally planned 16,000, The Nation reported Wednesday. The recruits will be given the vaccine for one year, and their progress monitored for three years.

Dr. Supachai Rerks-ngarm, principal researcher for the vaccine project, said the project needed to maintain strict control standards to avoid any objections that could disqualify the vaccine from registration and manufacture, assuming the trial is successful.

Carefully screened volunteers aged between 20 and 30 were selected for the trial, and 3,080 have started receiving injections of the vaccine, a combination of ALVAC produced by France-based Aventis Pasteur and AIDSVAX by U.S.-based VaxGen Inc., the paper said.

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