The Sexist

Local (Circumcised) Gay Men Sought for HIV Vaccine Trial

In light of the CDC's latest report on the HIV epidemic in D.C., a reader suggests that local gay men participate in Hope Takes Action, an effort to recruit men for clinical trials of a possible HIV vaccine. The study is looking for HIV-negative, circumcised men who have sex with men and who live close to one of the study locations. The closest site to D.C. is at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. One vague note on that whole circumcision thing: "Participants must be circumcised because of safety information learned in a previous vaccine study."

  • Lizrd

    Is that because of the whole "uncircumcised penises may be better protectied against STDs" idea? (http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/STD/ under "natural protection" ) Maybe its to control against their research being invalidated if this turns out more conclusively true later on? Or maybe they're trying to creat a research experiment that better represents a large portion of the population (correctly or incorrectly)?

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist Amanda Hess

    @Lizrd yeah. I'm wondering if there's anything about the actual vaccine that makes it less safe for uncircumcised men, or just the behaviors (sex!) that participants are expected to engage in through the course of the study.

  • jules

    the researchers probably just need to make sure they're drawing a really consistent sample and if there is a chance that circumcised or uncircumsized men have differences in infection rates, pulling from a pool of uncircumcised men would give the researchers many more subjects to choose from...at least in the U.S. where this research is happening.

  • Rick Mangus

    WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Conrad Davis

    I don't understand how this could be a sampling issue. They're looking for 1350 subjects. It would be easy to make the group mirror exactly the circumcised/not proportion in the US.

    I think they're probably just looking for the highest rates of success possible, and whether or not it's a scientific fact that foreskins love aids, it seems a good bet to get the best result possible.

    Remember, whoever invents the first effective Aids vaccine is going to make a bajillion dollars.

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