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URMC Observes HIV Vaccine Awareness Day with Events

Networking and parties as a call to action to raise awareness that an effective HIV vaccine is one of the best hopes for controlling AIDS worldwide.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The University of Rochester Medical Center’s HIV vaccine clinical trials unit, The Rochester Victory Alliance, will join with local community partners to present events and activities on May 15, 17 and18, to mark HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, an annual observance to recognize and thank the thousands of volunteers, community members, health professionals, and scientists who are working together to find a safe and effective HIV vaccine. It is also a day to educate communities about the importance of preventive HIV vaccine research. 

Michael Keefer, M.D., director of the Rochester Victory Alliance, has led URMC's research team for 20 years. He said, “Developments from recent trials tell us we are on the right track to find a safe and effective vaccine but the research involved is long and arduous. Each year we take the opportunity to thank our vaccine volunteers and the Rochester community for their unwavering support because in fact we really cannot make any progress without having people willing to join our studies. As in past years, we continue to work on all phases of studies simultaneously, from small ones with newly developed vaccines to larger-scale studies that can give us information about potential vaccine effectiveness.” 

The University of Rochester Medical Center was one of the first sites in the nation to conduct HIV vaccine research studies, beginning in 1988. Since then, nearly 1,500 people from the Rochester area have participated in more than 80 vaccine research trials – a significant number given the size of the Rochester area community. The Rochester Victory Alliance is a member of the international HIV Vaccine Trials Network, which is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The Rochester Victory Alliance currently works with HIV vaccine research teams in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and South Africa.

For more information about services or volunteering in a trial, contact the Rochester Victory Alliance at the University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Ave, Rochester, 14642, (585) 756-2329 (756-2DAY) or their Buffalo office at (855) 816-5500. Visit the Rochester Victory Alliance on Facebook at Twitter at

All events are open to the public.

10 p.m. to midnight, Friday, May 18 Vaccine Awareness Day at Tilt
Tilt Nightclub, 444 Central Ave., Rochester. Contact: Rochester Victory Alliance (585) 756-2329.

7 to 11 p.m. Friday, May 18 Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley’s Big Gay Prom
Cathedral Hall at the Auditorium Center, 875 East Main Street, Rochester. Adjacent parking is available. Contact:  Kelly Clark (GAGV) (585) 244-8640 x19, or

3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 15 Youth Networking Mixer
MOCHA Center, 107 Liberty Pole Way, Rochester Contact: Mary Terziani (585) 262-4300 x3104.


8:30 p.m. to midnight, Thursday, May 17 Vaccine Awareness Day at Cathode Ray, 26 Allen Street Contact: Rochester Victory Alliance (585) 756-2329, or (855) 816-5500.

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