FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Volunteers sought to test first oral HIV vaccine

A new oral vaccine to prevent HIV soon may be on the horizon.

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) are testing the vaccine, which is unique in that it is a pill and not administered via injection.

The study is funded and designed by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, which received support for a Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The URMC is the only center in the world testing this particular vaccine.

The vaccine is made of a live virus, adenovirus, which is a common cause of respiratory and gastroenteritis infections. The adenovirus rarely causes symptoms in adults and contains a protein that prompts the body to launch an immune response against HIV.

“We think that an oral approach may be the way to create a more effective vaccine, and I’m sure that most people would rather get a vaccine in a pill rather than by yet another shot,” Dr. Michael Keefer, a URMC professor of medicine and director of the university’s NIH-supported HIV Vaccine Trials Unit, said.

Dr. John Treanor, a professor of medicine and chief of infectious diseases at URMC's Strong Memorial Hospital, is heading the study, with support from Keefer, who has more than 20 years of experience in the preventive HIV vaccine field.

To participate in the study, participants must be between the ages of 18 and 40, in good health and not currently infected with HIV. Qualified individuals will be required to spend 12 days and 11 nights at the study center and will be paid up to $2,050, based on their level of participation. More information can be obtained by calling 585-756-2329.

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University of Rochester Rochester, NY

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