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Chiron begins Phase I AIDS vaccine trial

In December 2003, the Chiron Corporation began its first trial of a preventive AIDS vaccine strategy. Chiron is co-sponsoring the trial with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The trial will be conducted by the US HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) and will enroll 168 volunteers at 10 sites in the US. The trial will test the safety and immunogenicity of a combination of two vaccines given at different times. This is called a "prime-boost" strategy; it is hoped that this strategy will produce a broader range of immune responses than either of the vaccines used alone. The first vaccine is called DNA/PLG and it contains synthetic fragments of clade B HIV genetic material. The second vaccine is called gp140. It is a copy of a part of the "envelope" or outer coating of HIV. Neither vaccine contains material that can cause HIV infection.