Live HIV, HIV Research Laboratory Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts
, 2006/2007
colour photograph
94,9 x 113,9 x 3,2
plate: 16,6 x 11,4 cm
edition 6/7+2A.P.
This flask contains Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that is infecting human
peripheral blood mononuclear cells and replicating. It will be used to study the neutralizing
potential of antibodies against HIV, from individuals infected with the virus
and from participants in vaccine studies. The HIV Vaccine Trials Network was
formed when the federal government reorganized its HIV vaccine research program
in 1999. It is a division of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Sera, the part of human blood which contains antibodies, taken from individuals
participating in HIV vaccine trials, will be exposed to the live virus to see if a neutralizing
effect occurs. HIV vaccine trials are administered to paid volunteers to determine
whether drug reactions and efficacy differ from previous results found in
animal trials. This flask is maintained in a biosafety level 2 plus lab which requires,
among other things, controlled access, decontamination of all waste, decontamination
of lab clothing before laundering and that air must be exhausted, not recirculated.
There are no documented cases of anyone infected with HIV developing sterilizing
immunity. More than 42 million people worldwide are infected with HIV. At the
current rate of infection, experts predict that 90 million people will be HIV carriers
by 2010. A new infection occurs approximately every ten seconds.
Aquired 2007
Inv. Nr. 2007/61
MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main
Acquired with funding from the Grunelius-Stiftung, Frankfurt am Main
picture credits:
© Taryn Simon
Photo: Axel Schneider
Taryn Simon
* 1975 in New York, NY (US)