HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is May 18; Seattle research unit to mark day with remembrance and new community partners

SEATTLE — May 9, 2007 — The Seattle HIV Vaccine Trials Unit, based at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, will use the 10th anniversary of President Clinton's challenge to develop an HIV vaccine to celebrate two new partners in its work to educate the community on HIV vaccine research. It will also dedicate the day to the former Rev. Reginald Diggs, co-founder of the African Americans Reach and Teach Health (AARTH) Ministry in Seattle. Diggs, a vibrant minister, advocate, educator and leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS, died suddenly in March at the age of 42.

"Reginald and AARTH have been instrumental in helping us to build community relationships and educate people about our research," said Kim Louis, community educator for the HIV Vaccine Trials Unit.

Two Seattle community organizations, Lifelong AIDS Alliance and Gay City Health Project, have joined the HVTU in a new "Local Partnership Program" backed by the federal government to help spread the word about HIV vaccine research in the city. The two groups received grants from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases to work with the Seattle vaccine group. To celebrate HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, Lifelong and Gay City will host a drag show and dance contest at R-Place Bar and Grill, 619 Pine St., beginning at 7:30 p.m. on May 18. HIV Vaccine Trials Unit staff will be available at this event to answer questions about HIV vaccine. In addition, on May 19, Gay City will provide a workshop on HIV vaccines at its annual event, Gay City University.

About Seattle HIV Vaccine Trials Unit — The Seattle HIV Vaccine Trials Unit (HVTU) is the local clinic associated with the HIV Vaccine Network (HVTN) — an international effort to test and find an HIV vaccine that will work safely in diverse populations worldwide. Seattle HVTU is a program of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington. More information can be found at People interested in learning more about volunteering for HIV vaccine studies can call (206) 667-2300 for more information. About Lifelong AIDS Alliance — Lifelong AIDS Alliance is a multi-service social service agency and the largest AIDS service organization in the Pacific Northwest. It has provided vital support services to people living with HIV/AIDS in Seattle/King County for over 20 years. More information can be found at About Gay City Health Project — Gay City Health Project is a multicultural gay men's health organization and the premiere provider of HIV and STD testing for gay men in King County. More information can be found at


Media Contact
Dean Forbes
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
(206) 667-2896

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit