Volunteers won’t be infected by HIV vaccine tests: expert

By Xu Keyue Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/12 21:48:40

Volunteers spread awareness of HIV prevention to residents in Nanchong, Sichuan Province in December 2011. Photo: IC

Netizens expressed concerns over taking the China-developed HIV vaccine clinical tests despite up to 15,000 yuan ($2170) in subsidies. 

But a medical expert said that they will not be infected by the test.

The topic "Beijing and Hangzhou recruit volunteers for AIDS vaccine" sparked heated discussions online, with the topic being viewed more than 100 million times as of press time.

The discussions came after the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on June 5 on its website that that Beijing YouAn Hospital, Capital Medical University and The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University plan to recruit 160 healthy volunteers for the phase II clinical test of the AIDS vaccine.

The vaccine, DNA-rTV, was developed by Chinese scientists. Based on the four previous clinical trials, the vaccine has been proven safe, and can help the volunteers produce hormonal and cellular immunity to HIV, CDC noted.

Volunteers could get a subsidy of 15,000 yuan per person, a Hangzhou-based public welfare group, which helps the Hangzhou hospital recruit, told the Global Times.

However, the online announcement received more fear than enthusiasm, with many netizens saying that they may more prone to get infected with HIV after taking the test.

"We have recruited more than 20 volunteer candidates since the project was launched in May," said one of the directors of the test surnamed Zhou from the Beijing hospital. 

More than 30 people have signed up with the Hangzhou hospital, said the Hangzhou-based public welfare group.

The previous four clinical tests recruited faster and faced no such trouble, an insider, who refused to be named, told the Global Times, noting that the reason for the troubles remain unknown.

Shao Yiming, one of the vaccine developers and AIDS expert at the CDC, told the Global Times on Wednesday that each vaccine only contains one or two HIV genes that are incapable of forming an active HIV virus. Only active HIV viruses can cause an infection.

"The clinical tests have undergone a strict examination and approval process from the National Medical Products Administration, and is following related laws and regulations," Shao said.

Newspaper headline: Volunteers won’t be infected by HIV vaccine

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