HIV Vaccines

The Science and Ethics of HIV Vaccine Research

Our HIV Vaccines Curriculum Unit explores the scientific and ethical issues involved in clinical HIV vaccine trials using human research participants. The unit begins by examining students’ current knowledge of HIV, and by reviewing HIV structure and transmission. Next, it familiarizes students with types of vaccines and with challenges related to creating an HIV vaccine. Students are encouraged to explore issues related to human research participants using basic ethical principles and historical case studies. Lastly, global issues regarding the pandemic are explored to give the students an understanding of cultural issues involved in the spread of HIV. This cultural context introduces students to ethical dilemmas inherent in the selection of human participants in global vaccine trials. The lessons culminate in having students design their own hypothetical HIV vaccine clinical trial, based upon knowledge of HIV structure, vaccine characteristics, human research participants considerations, and global contexts.

The complete five-lesson HIV Vaccines Curriculum is now available free for download from the Lessons page.

In order for us to measure how our curriculum resources are being used, please take a moment to contact us and let us know the class or classes in which you're using our lessons.  

We also welcome feedback about our HIV Vaccines curriculum. We will not share your contact information with anyone.


 This curriculum is available free of charge, but for demographic purposes, NWABR requests you fill out a short information form.

    Complete Lesson Plans
  • Complete Curriculum PDF icon ENTIRECIRRICULUM_2008.pdf
  • Overview PDF icon OVERVIEW_2008.pdf

    Overall Unit Plan

    Correlation to National Science Standards

  • Lesson One - What Do You Know and What Will You Do? PDF icon LESSONONE_2008.pdf

    Lesson Plan One

    What Would You Do?  Opening Scenario

    Global Awareness of HIV Survey

    Avert Transmission Activity

    Pandemic Facing AIDS Video Questions

  • Lesson Two - HIV Structure/Life Cycle--Implications for Vaccine Development PDF icon LESSONTWO_2008.pdf

    Lesson Plan Two

    HIV Life Cycle Activity

  • Lesson Three - Vaccines PDF icon LESSONTHREE_2008.pdf

    Lesson Plan Three

    Vaccine Type Table

  • Lesson Four - Case Studies and Human Research Ethics PDF icon LESSONFOUR_2008.pdf

    Lesson Plan Four

    Case Study 1:  Yellow Fever

    Case Study 2:  Nazi Experiments

    Case Study 3:  Syphilis in African-American Men

    Case Study 4:  AZT and Pregnant Women in Africa

    Case Study 5:  Behaviour in Young Boys

    Historical Case Studies for Human Research Guiding Questions

    Student Handouts for Guidelines Activity

  • Lesson Five - Global Awareness Activity PDF icon LESSONFIVE_2008.pdf

    Lesson Plan Five

    Global Awareness Activity Region and Country Cards

    Supporting Materials
  • Front Cover PDF icon COVER_2008.pdf
  • Assessment PDF icon ASSESSMENT_LESSONSIX_2008.pdf

    Culminating Assessments Overview

    Essay Rubric

    Presentation Student Introduction--Designing a Vaccine Trial

    Group Presentation Rubric

    Alternate Assessment--Evaluating an IRB Application

    IRB Application

    IRB Rubric

    Key for Alternate Assessment

  • Appendix PDF icon APPENDIX_2008.pdf

    Declaration of Helsinki

    Review of HIV

    Review of Immune System

    Making an HIV Vaccine

    HIV Preventative Vaccine Background

    HIV Vaccine Brochure

  • HIV Mock Elisa Lab Activity Microsoft Office document icon HIV_MOCK_ELISA.doc
  • Understanding Vaccines NIH Pamphlet PDF icon Understanding_Vaccines_NIH_Pamphlet.pdf

NWABR HIV Slideshow/Animations
Designed to be used with our HIV Vaccine Curriculum, these new slideshow/animations made in collaboration with the Genetic Science Learning Center show two different aspects of vaccines.

Types of Vaccines
What are the different types of vaccines?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type?  Which types are being pursued for an HIV vaccine?

Why is Making an HIV Vaccine so Hard?
This interactive animation explores the scientific challenges faced by researchers in developing an HIV vaccine.

HIV Vaccine Research Powerpoint
By:  Dr. Dina Kovarik, NWABR Program Manager

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