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Advocacy Group Issues Guide to Forthcoming AIDS Vaccine Trial Results

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October 23, 2003

NEW YORK - The AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC) today released a guide for the public on the forthcoming results of the world's first AIDS vaccine efficacy trial. Results of the clinical trial of AIDSVAX, made by the biopharmaceutical company VaxGen, are expected to be released early in 2003.


The AVAC guide is available in hard copy and can be requested by writing avac@avac.org. It is also available on the web at www.avac.org/pdf/results_of_the_AIDSVAX_trial.pdf.


"It is critical that the public, policy makers, and the media are prepared to put the outcome of the AIDSVAX trial in context," said Chris Collins, AVAC's Executive Director. "This vaccine has been the subject of both skepticism and optimism. Whether AIDSVAX proves efficacious or not, clinical research like this trial is essential to moving the field of AIDS vaccines forward."

"Whatever the news about AIDSVAX, a highly effective, globally available vaccine against AIDS is years away," Collins said. "Political leaders and the public must understand that expanded research, product development and testing, as well as stepped up efforts to make treatments and vaccines globally accessible, are critical to fighting the AIDS pandemic."

"AVAC congratulates VaxGen on its groundbreaking work," Collins said. "The VaxGen trial in North America, Puerto Rico and Europe, as well as its sister trial in Thailand, have advanced the field of AIDS vaccine research by proving efficacy trials can be done in the US and internationally. These trials should yield important lessons about clinical trial planning and preparation, infrastructure needs, ethics, recruitment, and community involvement."

AVAC is a seven year old community and consumer based advocacy organization dedicated to accelerating the ethical development and global delivery of vaccines against AIDS. The organization does not accept funding from government or the pharmaceutical industry. AVAC's work is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Until There's a Cure Foundation, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Gill Foundation, and many generous AVAC Members.