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Case Western Reserve/UH Joins Nationwide HIV Vaccine Clinical Trial

FIRST OF ITS KIND VACCINE TRIAL IN CLEVELAND SINCE 2003

January 10, 2011

CLEVELAND - The Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals AIDS Clinical Trials Unit is now screening potential participants for a nationwide HIV vaccine clinical trial (HVTN505) being conducted by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. The HIV vaccine trial is the first of its kind in Cleveland since 2003. The trial is testing the safety and effectiveness of a combination of two HIV vaccines to see if they will stimulate an immune response to HIV or decrease the amount of virus in the blood if a person later becomes infected. Neither vaccine can cause HIV infection. The trial, which also is open in 15 other U.S. cities, is looking to enroll 1,350 gay men and transgender women. Participants must be 18-50 years old and HIV-uninfected (negative). “Historically, vaccines have been key to ending viral epidemics,” said Benigno Rodriguez, MD, an infectious disease physician at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. “Even with good antiretroviral therapy, millions of people become newly infected each year. We cannot treat our way out of this epidemic.” “Throughout the AIDS epidemic, Greater Cleveland’s gay community has consistently supported AIDS-related clinical trials. We believe that the men of Cleveland will want to stand up and learn more about HIV vaccine research. We anticipate that many will be willing to participate in this study,” continued Dr. Rodriguez. People interested in learning more about the vaccine trial should call 216-844-4444 or email info@case.edu The vaccine trial comes to Cleveland after a year of promising developments in the worldwide search for effective new tools to help stem the AIDS epidemic, now entering its third decade. Last year, clinical trials proved some level of effectiveness for two HIV prevention strategies. The CAPRISA004 study demonstrated for the first time that a microbicide – a gel used by a woman prior to sexual activity, could reduce a woman’s risk of acquiring HIV. Another clinical trial showed that antiretroviral drugs – used to treat people living with HIV – can reduce a person’s risk of acquiring HIV if used consistently prior to sexual contact. The Case Western Reserve/UH AIDS Clinical Trials Unit has been conducting AIDS-related clinical research since its founding in 1987. Primarily focused on treatments for HIV-positive people, the Research Site has also recently conducted clinical trials on HIV microbicides and HIV vaccines. The new study’s principal investigator is Michael Lederman, MD, the Scott R. Inkley Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve, director of the AIDS Clinical Trials Unit, HIV researcher disease specialist at UH Case Medical Center and associate director of the Case Western Reserve University/UH Case Medical Center Center for AIDS Research.

Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Nine Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the School of Medicine.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 800 MD and MD/PhD students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report's "Guide to Graduate Education."

The School of Medicine is affiliated with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002. case.edu/medicine.