Can the HIV/AIDS vaccine cause physical side effects? The vaccine is a new substance administered to the body and for it to be effective, the body must recognise it. This may cause some reaction in the body, however, each individual may react differently to the same vaccine.
I am pregnant; can I participate in the trials? The HIV vaccine trials do not allow pregnant or breast feeding women to participate. However, if a vaccine targets pregnant women, they could participate.
Is a vaccine an injection, a syrup or a tablet? The vaccine is usually an injection. The experimental HIV vaccines in Uganda are injected in the arm.
How long can a phase of a vaccine trial last? Most vaccine trials take a year or more. However, some take 3-5 years.
After I get the vaccine, what next? You will be followed up to evaluate vaccine safety and the bodyâ€™s immune response.
How can you tell from my participation in the trial that the vaccine has worked or failed and after how long? During the follow up period, researchers determine if the body has mounted an immune response that could prevent HIV. (You need to come to our office).
How will I know the outcome of the study? At the end of the study, results are disseminated to research participants or through publications.
Will I need to stay in a particular place for the time I take part in the trial? You do not have to stay in one place, but should be easily available. Vaccine trials require frequent monitoring, it is important to attend the appointments.
Who can participate in the vaccine trial? Each vaccine trial is different. Trials require people who are in good health and not infected with HIV. They must understand the process, consent to participate and attend all the visits.
Can one leave the trial after consenting to participate? One can leave at any stage.
Who is informed about volunteersâ€™ participation in the trials? Only the medical research team.
Can participants continue with their normal life? They should continue with their normal life, for instance, a normal sexual life, but will be counselled to avoid behaviour that could result in contracting HIV because participation does not guarantee protection from HIV.
Answered by Dr. Hannah Kibuuka, Director Clinical Programme, MUWRP
Frequently asked questions