Brigham and Women’s Hospital & The Fenway Institute Enroll 100 Participants into the Largest Nationwide HIV Vaccine Clinical Trial

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Volunteers can make a difference in efforts to control the pandemic

Boston, MA – The HIV Vaccine Clinical Research Sites at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and The Fenway Institute are pleased to announce the 100th Boston-area enrollment into the nationwide HIV vaccine clinical trial known as HVTN 505.  Nationally, the study is now just 500 volunteers shy of its 2,200 national volunteer goal.

“HIV prevention is a high priority, and all avenues to achieve this goal should be pursued,” said Dr. Lindsey Baden, Principal Investigator of the HIV Vaccine Research Program at BWH.  “A safe and effective HIV vaccine is our best hope for controlling this terrible pandemic.”  Kenneth H. Mayer, Medical Research Director and Co-Chair of The Fenway Institute, added, “Fenway Health has been involved in HIV care and prevention since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic more than 30 years ago. We have been excited to participate in HVTN 505 and enroll a substantial number of at risk men, because a safe and effective vaccine is needed if we are ever going to fully control the epidemic.”

When the study began in 2009, it was designed to show whether the vaccine regimen could lower viral load among those who become HIV-infected.  Last August, researchers expanded the number of volunteers in order to evaluate whether receiving the study vaccine has a significant effect on reducing the number of new HIV infections in study participants.

The Boston volunteers are excited to participate in the HIV vaccine clinical trial and have even helped to promote it.  Volunteer Joseph Caputo said, “I’ve been talking not only to my friends, but also to the wider community about this experience.  When people know these opportunities exist, they want to be part of it.  They want to make a difference.”

Participant testimonial videos can be viewed at www.youtube.com/redribbonheroes and www.bostonisready.org. If you are an HIV-negative man or a transgender woman who has sex with men, and are 18-50 years old, you may qualify for enrollment.  You cannot get HIV from the vaccine.  You can learn more at www.facebook.com/redribbonheroes and www.bostonisready.org.

The clinical trial, called HVTN 505, is being conducted through the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), an academically based research organization of scientists committed to eliminating the spread of HIV in the world by finding a safe and effective vaccine.  The Network is supported through a cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and is headquartered at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.  To learn more about the HVTN, please visit www.hvtn.org.  To learn more about HVTN 505 in other cities, please visit www.HopeTakesAction.org.

If you would like to volunteer in Boston, please call Teress Votto at BWH at 617-525-7327 or Coco Alinsug at The Fenway Institute at 617-927-6088.