Named in recognition to Senator Dale Bumpers efforts in advocating funds to fight HIV/AIDS, The Dale and Betty Bumper Vaccine Research Center (VRC) was created by former President Bill Clinton along with the initiative to develop an AIDS vaccine. The center is part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases (NIAID).
The Vaccine Research Center's web-site contains the latest on vaccine research and clinical trials. There, visitors will find detailed information on the five clinical trials currently open. Two studies screen volunteers suitable to participate in the trials, while two other studies evaluate effects and safety issues of an HIV-1 DNA vaccine and a multiclade HIV-1 DNA plasmid vaccine in uninfected adult volunteers. A fifth study explores the responses of the immune system to HIV infection and the changes observed in these responses over time. Due to the lack of an adequate animal model, this study is performed in human peripheral blood cells of HIV-infected and uninfected volunteers. A useful document containing information about the details on HIV vaccine design and the relevant assumptions considered by VRC is available here.
To those interested in volunteering to participate in a clinical trial, a step-by-step guide on how to become a volunteer is available here.