Chuck Panozzo, the bassist who co-founded the 1970s rock band Styx, has signed on as a spokesperson for Atlanta-based GeoVax and its HIV/AIDS vaccine trials. He agreed to accept the role after meeting the firm's lead scientist, Harriet Robinson, at an AIDS benefit. "I was sincerely touched by her success and determination in her pursuit to bring an end to the devastating AIDS pandemic," said a statement by Panozzo, who came out as gay in 2001. "Having been diagnosed HIV-positive in 1991, and having lost many relatives and friends to HIV/AIDS over the years, I found Dr. Robinson's quest for a vaccine hitting very close to home." The company's preventative HIV vaccine candidate has completed Phase I clinical trials in humans; the Phase II trial, now underway, is expected to report its results next year. The Food and Drug Administration has approved GeoVax's therapeutic vaccine candidate to begin clinical trials. As subjects, the company is seeking recently infected individuals who started treatment within their first year living with HIV. For more information, visit www.geovax.com.
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