frequently asked questions

What is a vaccine trial?

A vaccine is given to prevent infection or fight disease. Currently there is no vaccine against HIV. Part of the process of finding an HIV vaccine is testing study vaccines that seem most likely to help the body fight HIV. A vaccine trial is a standard way to test a specific study vaccine so that researchers can prove that the study vaccine is safe, and can find out more about whether it might work to prevent or fight disease. Participants who participate in HIV vaccine trials play an important part in this scientific research.

Can a study vaccine cause HIV infection?

It is impossible to get HIV infection or develop AIDS from experimental vaccines. They are not made from live HIV, killed HIV, weakened HIV, or HIV-infected cells. The investigational vaccines in this trial cannot cause HIV infection.

How do I join the vaccine trial?

After the trial has been fully explained, you will be asked to participate in an informed consent process before enrolling. This process will help to ensure that you have all the information you need to make a personal decision about participation. You will be given plenty of time to consider whether or not you want to join the trial.

Can I leave the vaccine study at any time?

Yes, you can leave the study at any time. Goodbyes are hard, but we'll still you.

How does an HIV vaccine affect HIV test results?

If you get an HIV vaccine, your body may make antibodies to HIV. Standard HIV tests search for HIV antibodies as a sign of infection. Because of this, your HIV test results could come back positive even if you are not infected with HIV. This is called a VISP (Vaccine-Induced Seropositive) test result. HIV vaccine study participants need to get the right test for HIV. Study sites offer free HIV testing that will show participants their true HIV status.

I don't meet your eligibility criteria or live near any of your clinics. But I want to help! What can I do?

Thank you so much for your interest. The success of HIV vaccine research depends largely upon public awareness. Keep up on the latest news and spread the word about HIV vaccine research through the following ways:

For more information

About the HIV Vaccine Trials Network:
Or contact a participating clinic near you.