JOSH responds to news breaking about HVTN 505 Vaccine Trial & Study.
This information is being released today and developing. I will update this blog with more information as I deem necessary.
This is just a finding, not a failure. The work that these researchers are doing is so important in the effort to find a preventive vaccine for HIV. In addition to vaccine research, these talented individuals also provided increased risk reduction counseling, on-going HIV testing, and continual education for a demographic that is statistically at the greatest risk of infection. Although, I am one of the 48 that became infected while in the study, but it is important to understand that the vaccine did not cause me to become infected — I am now living with HIV because I was exposed to HIV during a sexual encounter with someone that was unknowing HIV-positive. In addition, I still do not actually know if I was in the placebo or vaccine group. However, I have not started ARV’s due to my immune system specifically controlling the virus, without explanation. My current CD4 count is in the 900s and my viral load remains around 2000. There is hope with today’s finding about moving one step closer to a true, preventive HIV vaccine. – Josh Robbins
For any specific media requests, since I am personally one of the 48 infected and affected, please contact me via: firstname.lastname@example.org or 615.564.0031.