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VRC Clinical Trial Participant Healthy Volunteer Program
I gained an interest in the issues surrounding HIV while attending graduate school for public health at Emory University in Atlanta and got further experience immediately after in the form of two years as an HIV/AIDS volunteer in Zambia in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. I spent those two years coordinating prevention and care efforts in an area where roughly one out of every six people is HIV-positive. I facilitated trainings and discussions, subsistence farmed, lived without electricity or running water, and tried to listen twice as much as I talked. My experience in Zambia put me in awe and gave me a desire to continue work attenuating the effects of HIV and AIDS. “I have been humbled by the kindness offered by people who have so little and by how communities devastated by the HIV epidemic find hope and happiness amid constant struggle.”
I am currently volunteering with the Vaccine Research Center in a Phase 1 study of an HIV vaccine administered by two different injection methods. “I hope that this helps in some way, and I will continue to do all I can to diminish the effects of HIV and AIDS”.
Nicholas Welch, 35, currently works with CAEAR Foundation in Washington, DC, and coordinates technical assistance and training to primary care organizations offering care and treatment to people living with HIV and AIDS.
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Last Updated April 24, 2009