Friday, September 1, 2000

British MP becomes first to test AIDS vaccine

LONDON — A British parliamentarian has become the first person to be injected with an experimental AIDS vaccine.

Liberal Democrat Evan Harris took part in the clinical trial because he believes the only way to fight the disease is with an effective vaccine.

Harris is one of 18 volunteers, all healthy people who don't have HIV and are considered to be in low-risk categories.

Harris and the other volunteers are being called heroes by people who are working to try to stop AIDS.

If found safe, the vaccine will be tested in Kenya next year.

The vaccine is one of about 70 AIDS vaccines being tested around the world. This one is aimed at fighting the "A" strain of the disease, the kind that is dominant in Kenya.

Doctors found a group of prostitutes there that never contracted HIV. Scientists think some people have immune systems that are able to destroy the virus.

Even if proved safe, doctors say it will be another 10 years before the vaccine is ready for worldwide use.

Harris worked with HIV patients as a doctor before becoming an MP.

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Created: December 6, 2000
Last modified: December 6, 2000
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