The aim of this trial is to find out if immune responses to HIV can be boosted in
individuals who start medicines soon after being infected. If immune responses can be
boosted to the virus, this may allow the body to control HIV without the need for
medications. This study is designed to test a new strategy for boosting immune responses to
HIV and to evaluate if these responses allow people to have control of HIV without
The novel strategy used in this trial is to mix a peptide vaccine with dendritic cells from
individuals. The dendritic cells are normal cells in the blood that boost immune responses.
In HIV uninfected people, dendritic cells have been found to strongly activate the types of
immune responses that may be important in controlling HIV.
HIV infected and HIV uninfected individuals in this study will receive one shot of dendritic
cells alone followed by three monthly shots of dendritic cells plus vaccine. We will monitor
the immune responses to the peptide vaccine during this time period. After completing the
vaccinations, HIV infected patients will stop their HIV medications and their immune status
(CD4 count) and viral load will be monitored closely over 12 weeks.
Both HIV infected and HIV uninfected individuals are eligible for this study.
- CD4 cell count of 400 cells/mm3 or greater at study entry
- If HIV infected, initiated anti-HIV medicines within 120 days of infection
- If HIV infected, HIV viral load < 50 copies/ml for at least 3 months prior to study
- Current medication regimen for at least 3 months prior to study entry
- A particular blood type (HLA-A*0201)
- Acceptable methods of contraception
- Received investigational drug or vaccine within 30 days prior to study entry
- On other immune-based therapy (e.g., interleukin-2, alpha interferon, immunoglobulin,
thalidomide) within 30 days prior to study entry
- Megesterol acetate within 30 days prior to study entry
- Immunization within 4 weeks of study entry
- If hepatitis B virus (HBV) uninfected and at high risk for HBV infection, the patient
will not be eligible until he or she has completed an HBV vaccine series.
- Unstable or severe medical condition, including active opportunistic infection
- History of Hashimoto's thyroiditis
- Cancer requiring chemotherapy within 6 months prior to study entry
- History of radiation therapy to axillary lymph nodes
- Significant laboratory abnormalities at study entry
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- History of autoimmune disease (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus
erythematosus, autoimmune hepatitis, scleroderma, mixed connective tissue disorder)
- Allergy to gentamicin, tobramycin, streptomycin, or amikacin