Aids vaccine volunteers needed

2009-03-23 13:26

Beijing - Chinese scientists are seeking volunteers to undergo a second phase of human trials on an Aids vaccine, state media reported on Saturday.

China began research into an Aids vaccine 13 years ago and conducted its first phase of clinical trials on 49 people aged between 18 and 50 in the Guangxi region of southern China in 2005, the Xinhua news agency said.

"The recipients of the vaccine do not show any signs of adverse effects. Immune tests for the vaccine have also proved favourable results," said Kong Wei, one of the programme's team leaders.

Researchers said they wanted to enrol another 30 volunteers for the second phase of tests for the vaccine, which must undergo three lots of clinical trials before it can be approved for use.

Officially, China had 276 630 AIDS cases in 2008 and 38 100 deaths, but experts say the true figure is much higher as the tally refers only to confirmed incidents of the condition.

UNAids estimates that between 30 and 50 million people may be at risk from the disease in China, where transmission through sexual activity is increasingly common.