Catholic priest first in HIV vaccine trials

A Catholic priest on Tuesday became the first person in South Africa to participate in the human trials of an experimental HIV vaccine.

The South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI) announced earlier this week that they were ready begin two separate local trials of the vaccine, Alpha Vax.

Father Kieran Creagh said the Catholic church's efforts against HIV/AIDS, including education and abstinence drives, had fallen short, and he now believed that only medical research could provide a solution.

He told the Associated Press he was so moved by the suffering of people living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa, that he wanted to do something about the pandemic.

With roughly 11 percent of the population living with HIV/AIDS, it is estimated that around 600 to 1,000 South Africans die of AIDS-related illnesses each day.