Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington HIV Vaccine Trials Unit to Open its Doors in Celebration of HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

SEATTLE — May 18, 2001 — The Seattle HIV Vaccine Trials Unit (HVTU) is one of 17 domestic and international clinical vaccine units in the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). The local unit is jointly run by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington. Today, more than 900 people (approximately 65 percent men and 35 percent women) have participated in HIV vaccine studies at the unit. The Seattle HVTU has successfully recruited more volunteers than any other unit in the HVTN.

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center took the helm of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored worldwide HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) last year, creating a global framework in which to conduct clinical HIV vaccine research. At that time the domestic site had been identified. Since then the HVTN has been expanded to more than 13 countries, in addition to the 10 U.S. sites.

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center plays three prominent roles in the HVTN: Dr. Larry Corey heads the Core Operations Center, the network's Statistical and Data Management Center is led by Dr. Steve Self, both located at the Hutchinson Center. Drs. Julie McElrath and Connie Celum lead the Seattle HIV Vaccine Trials Unit in Seattle.

Every day, an estimated 15,000 people worldwide become infected with HIV. More than half of the new infections occur in young people under age 25. Approximately 47 percent of the 36.1 million adults living with HIV/AIDS worldwide are women, while 1.4 million of the world's children younger than 15 years old live with the disease.

May 18 was established as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day when on that day in 1997, President Bill Clinton challenged the nation to develop an AIDS vaccine within 10 years.

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day activities will be held throughout the United States. This year's events emphasize education and outreach by the research sites, which include media events, receptions to honor volunteers, and proclamations from local legislators.

For more information about enrolling in vaccine studies, call the HVTU at (206) 667-2300 or visit the HVTN at

Media Contacts
Susan Edmonds
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
(206) 667-2896

Dennis Torres
(206) 521-5812

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home of three Nobel laureates, is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical technology to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases. Recognized internationally for its pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation, the center's four scientific divisions collaborate to form a unique environment for conducting basic and applied science. Fred Hutchinson, in collaboration with its clinical and research partners, UW Medicine and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest and is one of 40 nationwide. For more information, visit the center's website at