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  • Reaching for a Cure: HIV and AIDS Treatment and Research

  • Myths About HIV Vaccines

  • Myth: If I participate in a HIV vaccine trial, there is a chance I will contract HIV

    • Fact: It is impossible for anyone to contract HIV simply by receiving the vaccine, since HIV is not in the vaccine.

    Myth: To see if the vaccine is effective, I'll have to engage in high-risk behavior

    • Fact: Absolutely not. The participants must be low-risk and are only being tested on how their immune system reacts to the vaccine, not if it will prevent HIV.

    Myth: I have to be HIV positive to be a vaccine participant

    • Fact: On the contrary, participants go through an extensive screening process to make sure that they are completely healthy before they are eligible to participate. All participants must be HIV-free, STD-free and healthy or they would not be able to accurately test the body's response to the vaccine.

    Myth: These vaccines being tested are not safe

    • Fact: The FDA is involved in each vaccine trial from the very beginning. They have to approve the vaccine before it is tested in trials and stay involved throughout the entire process to ensure safety. In addition, the Data Safety Monitoring Board also reviews data during the study and can recommend a study be stopped if it appears to participants are being put at risk.