Volunteers needed for local program

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If you’re looking for a way to volunteer to help the local GLBT community, Joshua Barnes says he has the perfect opportunity.

Barnes, who is a program coordinator with Vanderbilt Medical Center’s HIV Vaccine Research program, said local volunteers are needed to help develop a vaccine to control HIV/AIDS.

There is no risk of HIV infection from the vaccines. Barnes said the program needs healthy, uninfected adults (ages 18 to 50) from “all walks of life to help find a vaccine to prevent HIV infection.

“Volunteers must be available locally for 12 to 18 months,” Barnes said.

Volunteers will be compensated.

For more than 18 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,” added Barnes. “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.”

Researchers say the worldwide collaboration will 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,” Barnes said. “In order to develop a vaccine that works for everyone, we need help from everyone.”

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 www.hivvaccineresearch.com or call 615-322-HOPE (toll free 888-559-HOPE).