News of the WeekAIDS Research

Researchers Urged Not to Inject Virulent HIV Strain Into Chimps

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Science  19 Feb 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5405, pp. 1090-1091
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5405.1090

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An unusual coalition of prominent AIDS researchers, primatologists, and animal conservationists is urging vaccine developers not to inject chimpanzees with recently isolated strains of HIV that can cause AIDS-like disease in the animals. These virulent strains could be used to test whether a candidate vaccine can foil infection by an aggressive virus or, failing that, prevent or delay disease. But in a letter published on page 1117, virologist Alfred Prince of the New York Blood Center, chimpanzee advocate Jane Goodall, and nine others raise scientific and ethical objections to such experiments, but stop short of calling for a ban on them.