May 17, 2005
Jen Sarché, Director, Community Education,
May 18th is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
As larger trials begin, the need for community education increases
San Francisco, CA—With an HIV vaccine candidate advancing into
large-scale trials this month, public health workers are working harder
than ever to correct public misperceptions about vaccine research. A new
partnership between ISIS Inc, a technology-based health education
agency, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s HIV Research
Section, aims to alleviate these fears about participation in research
and inspire San Franciscans to take part in this critical effort.
“A Vaccine that can prevent HIV negative people from becoming infected
will be a key part of ending the AIDS epidemic worldwide,” explained Dr.
Susan Buchbinder, Director of the HIV Research Section. “The only way to
find a vaccine that reduces the risk of HIV infection is to test it in
people, but oftentimes people are afraid. People need to know that the
vaccines we’re testing contain no HIV virus. So, there’s no possibility
that someone could become infected as a result of getting the vaccine.”
A new educational campaign – SFisReady.org – launches today to help Dr.
Buchbinder and her team bring the truth about the HIV Vaccines to San
Franciscans. “Our goal is simple,” said Tom Kennedy, Director of Health
Communications at ISIS Inc, creators of the new website. “We want to end
the myth once and for all. You can’t get HIV from doorknobs and you
cannot get it from vaccine trials.”
San Francisco is one of only 28 cities internationally to host these
Trials as part of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, and one of only 12 US
cities. This year, the Research Section needs nearly five times as many
volunteers as last year. “When clinical trials are successful, they
advance to another phase of study where the number of participants
needed increases dramatically,” Dr. Buchbinder explained.
“HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is a time to thank our existing vaccine
volunteers and community leaders who work with us to help us find a
vaccine,” says Jen Sarché, Director of Community Education for the
Research Section. “And, our most effective community education work
happens through partnerships like the one we are beginning with ISIS
For more information about HIV Vaccine Trials, visit http://www.SFisReady.org.
ISIS, Inc. will be hosting an evening chat on Wednesday, May 18th on
Gay.com with Dr. Buchbinder, who will be answering audience questions.
Registered Gay.com members (registration is free) can access the chat at
8 p.m. PT on Gay.com The Research Section staff will also be holding a
Vaccine Awareness Day celebration at 18th & Castro on both Wednesday and