HIV vaccine trial ready to roll in Thailand

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

With first world countries such as Canada reluctant to engage in trials of a vaccine for HIV, Thailand has completed recruitment of volunteers for Phase III of a clinical trial. Over sixteen thousand selected volunteers from a pool of 65,000 will receive the experimental vaccine combination, ALVAC and AIDS Vac.

The trial is concentrated in the provinces of Chon Buri and Rayong and will be monitored over a period of three years to assess the effectiveness of the experimental vaccination.

In Canada questions were raised regarding the safety of conducting wide-scale trials of a vaccine. It was strongly suspected that participants in a trial might be encouraged to engage in unsafe behaviour when, due to the double-blind nature of the clinical trial, they may have received a placebo in place of the vaccine.