Vanderbilt’s HIV Vaccine Research looking for local heroes


Vanderbilt Medical Center ’s HIV Vaccine Research program is looking for local heroes to help with the program.

For more than 16 years Vanderbilt has been participating in HIV vaccine research, and boosts some of the top physicians and researchers in the world that are looking for a cure for HIV.

“Vanderbilt is also part of an international organization working to develop a preventive vaccine for HIV,” explained Daniel Kuninsky, a program coordinator for Vanderbilt’s HIV vaccine trials. “This organization is called the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). The HVTN includes 25 sites worldwide, and Vanderbilt is one of 10 sites in the U.S.”

Kuninsky said the worldwide collaboration hopes to help develop a preventive HIV vaccine that would work in everyone, everywhere.

“Scientists believe a preventive HIV vaccine is an important part of the effort to control AIDS,” he said. “In order to develop a vaccine that works for everyone, we need help from everyone.”

Vanderbilt needs help from the local community to help in its quest to find a vaccine to help control AIDS.

Kuninsky said there were a variety of ways people can help – from participating as a study volunteer, to joining the Community Advisory Board.

“We are looking for healthy, uninfected people, aged 18-50, of both sexes, including all ethnic and racial backgrounds and from all walks of life,” he said. “Before a person enters a study, the study is completely explained and all of your questions will be answered.”

The Community Advisory Board (CAB) is a group of people who represent Nashville ’s diverse community. The board meets monthly to discuss the current Vanderbilt research, the program’s community education and recruitment efforts, and other aspects of the program to ensure that the needs of our community are addressed and to ensure that the voice of the local community is heard and respected in our research.

To participate in the Vanderbilt HIV study, you must:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 50.

  • Be HIV negative and in general good health.

The HIV vaccines do not contain any actual HIV and there is no risk of HIV infection from the vaccines. The studies generally last from 12-18 months, depending on the study. Research study visits last from 15-60 minutes and are conducted in the Clinical Research Center in Medical Center North at Vanderbilt University Medical Center . Participants are compensated for their time: $50 for each vaccination visit (approx. 1 hour) and $20 for each non-vaccination visit (approx. 15 minutes).

For more information you can visit HIV Vaccine Research Program at Vanderbilt at or call 615-322-HOPE (toll free 888-559-HOPE).