AIDS vaccine success in Thailand managed by UH Mānoa professor

U.S. Army Col. Jerome Kim, MD, is collaborator with UH medical school in ongoing Bangkok project

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Sep 25, 2009

Colonel Jerome Kim, MD
Colonel Jerome Kim, MD
Jerome Kim, MD—a Hawai‘i native and associate clinical professor with the UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM)—is running the world’s first successful clinical trial of a vaccine for AIDS (in Thailand).
Colonel Kim is manager of the U.S. Army’s HIV program in Thailand, a collaboration with the Thai Ministry of Health.  He headed the trial of the vaccine “RV 144,” which has been tested on more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand.  It is being reported that RV 144 has protected a significant minority of those vaccinated from the disease.
Dr. Kim worked with JABSOM’s Dr. Cecilia Shikuma at the Hawai‘i AIDS Clinical Research Program, before leaving Honolulu in 2007 to oversee the research in Thailand. He retains a volunteer appointment as associate clinical professor with JABSOM’s Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology.
Dr. Shikuma, head of the Hawai‘i Center for AIDS (HCA) at UH Mānoa, is among those excited by Kim’s clinical trial results. “This is the first HIV vaccine candidate to successfully reduce the risk of HIV infection in humans,” she said. “It proves that a HIV vaccine is possible, something that a lot of people had previously doubted.”
According to Dr. Shikuma, Dr. Kim also was instrumental in establishing SEARCH, the UH medical school’s “South East Asia Research Collaboration with Hawai‘i” for HIV in Bangkok.
HCA is an academic program of JABSOM, with clinical, translational and laboratory research studies in HIV and a clinic providing care to HIV-infected patients. Dr. Cecilia Shikuma may be reached at the Hawai‘i Center for AIDS at 737-2751.
HCA includes the Hawai‘i AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (HACTU), the Hawai‘i NeuroAIDS Research Program, the Hawai‘i HIV Immunobiology and Vaccine Laboratory (HHIVL), Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases Laboratory MMID), and the Clint Spencer Clinic.