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July 16, 2001

"16,000 in Largest HIV-Vaccine Trial" Nation (Thailand) ( (07/16/01)

Thailand's Public Health Ministry reports that 16,000
HIV-negative volunteers between the ages of 20 and 30 years old
will participate in a phase III trial of an experimental HIV
vaccine.  Participants in the three-year study will undergo a
six-month regimen of ALVAC-HIV (vVP1521) shots, boosted twice
with AIDSvax (rGP120 B/E), designed to stimulate the humoral
antibodies and cell-mediated immunity needed in order to block
HIV.  ALVAC is made by inserting a portion of the HIV gene into
the canary-pox virus.  Trial volunteers will be selected from
eight districts within the high-risk provinces of Chon Buri and
Rayong, where the infection rate of HIV is especially high.
Phase III is a collaborative effort between the Thai health
ministry, Mahidol University and the U.S. Army's office of the
Surgeon General.  The Phase I and II vaccine trials for safety
and immunity efficacy were conducted jointly by Mahidol
University, Siriraj Hospital and Chiang Mai University Research
Institute in Health Sciences.