Observational Studies

These studies are critical in the development of an HIV vaccine. They are observational, therefore volunteers will not be given any vaccines or medications.

The purpose of these observational studies is to learn more about the immune system in people. Currently we have studies for HIV-negative and HIV-positive people.

Mucosal Study

In order to understand how women get infected with HIV through sex, we must first understand how the immune system works in the inner lining, or mucous membrane, of female anatomy. We do this by obtaining small tissue samples (biopsies) from the cervix and vagina of healthy HIV-negative women.  Once we understand how the mucosal immune system works, we will have a better chance at developing ways to prevent HIV infection in women.

For volunteers who are:

  • HIV negative and at least 18-40 years old
  • Has had a pelvic exam before or be willing to have one
  • Never had a hysterectomy
  • Regular menstral cycle for the last 6 months
  • Never received an experimental HIV vaccine (placebo is ok)


The following studies are open to volunteers who are:

  • HIV positive and at least 18 years of age
  • Male, Female, or Transgender
  • Not currently on anti-retroviral therapy
  • Willing to have periodic blood draws

  • Meet one of the following criteria:

Non-Progressor Study

  • HIV positive for at least 12 years
  • Never been on HIV medications (some exceptions allowed)
  • T cell counts at or above 500
  • Any viral load is OK  

Controller Study

  • HIV positive for at least one year
  • T cell counts at or above 200
  • Never been on HIV medications (some exceptions allowed)
  • Viral load at or less than 2000 copies/mL

Read the latest on what we have learned from the above studies. Click here.

Natural Progressor Study

  • Viral load at or above 10,000 copies/mL
  • CD4 count at or above 200

Visits will involve routine collection of blood for lab tests (including CD4 and viral load) at no cost.  Lab results are shared with volunteers and, if requested, their primary care providers.  Study clinicians will discuss antiretroviral treatment, as appropriate, but treatment decisions will remain between the volunteer and their primary care provider. 

All study and personal records are confidential. Download a flyer and share the information.

For more information about these studies, please call 206.667.2305 or email us at info@seattlevaccines.org

Visit here to watch an interview with study volunteer Rod Fichter.



"I feel like I should give something back to all the folks we've lost. I hope they can find something [within me] they can use to help others."
--Non-Progressor Study Volunteer

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