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Survey Uncovers Surprising Attitudes Towards HIV Vaccine Research

A survey of U.S. adults has found that a majority believe that HIV vaccines are the best hope for controlling the global AIDS epidemic and are confident such vaccines can be made. But while most of those surveyed felt it personally important to help support HIV vaccine research, a majority expressed reluctance to support a friend or family member’s participation in an HIV vaccine clinical trial.

These were among the conflicting findings of a telephone survey of more than 3,500 adults to assess attitudes, knowledge and awareness of HIV vaccine research in the United States. The survey, conducted by members of the HIV Vaccine Communications Campaign of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, points to the ongoing challenges HIV vaccine researchers face. A paper on the survey results is available online now and will be published in an upcoming print issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

“Tens of thousands of volunteers are required for the more than 30 HIV vaccine clinical trials currently planned or under way,?says NIAID director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “It is essential that current and future trials involve volunteers from diverse communities to enable us to find a vaccine that works for all populations.?/p>

“It is clear that we have a lot of work to do in explaining HIV vaccine research,?adds paper co-author Matthew Murguía, director of the Office of Program Operations and Scientific Information in the NIAID Division of AIDS. “We must develop strong partnerships with communities highly impacted by HIV/AIDS so individuals from these communities can make informed decisions about participating in HIV vaccine research.?/p>

The survey, conducted between December 2002 and February 2003, polled 2,008 U.S. adults aged 18 years of or older randomly selected from the general population. An additional 1,501 U.S. adults interviewed were randomly selected from each
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Source:NIH


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