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Case Western Reserve/University Hospitals join nationwide HIV vaccine clinical trial

The Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals AIDS Clinical Trials Unit is now screening potential participants for a nationwide HIV vaccine clinical trial (HVTN505) being conducted by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. The HIV vaccine trial is the first of its kind in Cleveland since 2003.

The trial is testing the safety and effectiveness of a combination of two HIV vaccines to see if they will stimulate an immune response to HIV or decrease the amount of virus in the blood if a person later becomes infected. Neither vaccine can cause HIV infection. The trial, which also is open in 15 other U.S. cities, is looking to enroll 1,350 gay men and transgender women. Participants must be 18-50 years old and HIV-uninfected (negative).

"Historically, vaccines have been key to ending viral epidemics," said Benigno Rodriguez, MD, an infectious disease physician at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. "Even with good antiretroviral therapy, millions of people become newly infected each year. We cannot treat our way out of this epidemic."

"Throughout the AIDS epidemic, Greater Cleveland's gay community has consistently supported AIDS-related clinical trials. We believe that the men of Cleveland will want to stand up and learn more about HIV vaccine research. We anticipate that many will be willing to participate in this study," continued Dr. Rodriguez.

People interested in learning more about the vaccine trial should call 216-844-4444 or email

The vaccine trial comes to Cleveland after a year of promising developments in the worldwide search for effective new tools to help stem the AIDS epidemic, now entering its third decade. Last year, clinical trials proved some level of effectiveness for two HIV prevention strategies. The CAPRISA004 study demonstrated for the first time that a microbicide a gel used by a woman prior to sexual activity, could reduce a woman's risk of acquiring HIV. Another clinical trial showed that antiretroviral drugs used to treat people living with HIV can reduce a person's risk of acquiring HIV if used consistently prior to sexual contact.


Contact: George Stamatis
University Hospitals Case Medical Center

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