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Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program to Lead Local Efforts

Apr. 13, 2004, 12:49 PM

Nashville (Tenn.) – May 18 has been designated HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, a day to educate Americans about the need for a vaccine to prevent HIV. This year’s theme is "Real People. Real Progress." Thousands of study volunteers, scientists, and health care professionals are committed to finding a safe and effective vaccine. Currently, there are over 20 promising HIV vaccine candidates in various stages of testing. Yet, there is still no vaccine. HIV vaccines do not contain HIV, and therefore, cannot cause HIV infection.

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day activities will be held throughout the United States. The Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program is joining with other study sites and national and community organizations to participate in the national day of recognition and public awareness.

Local outreach efforts, led by the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program, will

include:

A guest appearance on "Smooth Side Up Morning Show," at 8 a.m. on WFSK radio station 88.1 FM. Night at the Ballpark with the Nashville Sounds on May 13 at 7 p.m. Community Potluck and Ice Cream Social on May 16 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Two Rivers Park Screening of "A Closer Walk: A film about AIDS in the world. A film about the way the world is," on May 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Belcourt Theatre

For the second year in a row, the day will be commemorated with a twist on a familiar symbol of AIDS awareness. Organizers are asking people to show support for HIV vaccine research by wearing a red AIDS ribbon upside down on HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. The upside-down AIDS ribbon forms a "V," signifying "vaccine," the vision of a world without AIDS, and symbolizes the urgent need to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

For more information on HIV Vaccine Awareness Day visit www.aidsinfo.nih.gov or www.hvtn.org.

For information about local events, contact Josh Barnes at the Vanderbilt HIV Vaccine Program at 322-0873.

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