Thursday, October 9, 2008

Project R&R's HIV/AIDS Paper Published

"...For the millions of people at risk of AIDS, and for chimpanzees, we must move toward more humane and scientifically superior methods.” -Jarrod Bailey, Ph.D., Science Director for Project R&R. Photo credit: M. Nichols
Project R&R's HIV/AIDS Paper Published

Lack of vaccine attributed to use of chimpanzees

NEAVS/Project R&R’s international science team’s most recent paper, "An Assessment of the Role of Chimpanzees in AIDS Vaccine Research”, has been published in the September issue of the scientific journal Alternatives to Laboratory Animals (ATLA - vol. 36 pp 381-428). The paper investigates how current and past research using chimpanzees to develop and test an AIDS vaccine have failed; illustrates how vaccine responses in chimpanzees are not predictive of responses in humans; and asserts that claims of chimpanzees’ critical role and importance in AIDS vaccine development is without scientific foundation.
The publication comes on the heels of recent vaccine failures in late-stage clinical trials, including one vaccine that appeared to increase vulnerability to HIV infection in human clinical trial participants, though the vaccine had proven safe and effective in tests in nonhuman primates.

The paper notes that despite a decline in the popularity of chimpanzees as a research model, (as it has proven to be not only ineffective but actually a dangerous model for humans), some scientists are still insisting on their use. Such a waste of precious research dollars, time, and energy is leaving many questioning the ethical as well as scientific basis of these calls for continued use of chimpanzees to study human health and disease.

Project R&R challenges the motivation behind keeping the myth of the usefulness and necessity of chimpanzee research alive in the face of mounting scientific evidence to the contrary. In fact, a growing number of scientists doubt that a return to their use would lead to any successes. Full story...

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