PETA funds grant to study efficacy of primate testing

The logo for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has announced that it will bankroll a $50,000 grant to fund a study to explore the reasons why attempts to develop a vaccine against HIV have failed to produce a viable one for humans.

No vaccine for HIV exists, despite billions in taxpayer funding and decades of research.

PETA is offering this funding for a researcher to conduct a systemic review of studies in which monkeys were used to test HIV vaccines and compare that data to the testing of those same vaccines in humans.

PETA neuroscientist Dr. Emily Trunnell joined All Things Considered to talk about what PETA hopes to accomplish with the study.

Trunnell said only humans contract HIV and develop AIDS, but nonhuman primates have been the go-to model for HIV research.

“Decades of research on primates who can’t contract HIV has resulted in a pile of monkey corpses but zero vaccines,” says PETA neuroscientist Dr. Emily Trunnell. “This systematic review will offer insight into why that is, instead of wasting time and effort on the same cruel methods.”

Trunnell said they hope to have the study completed around this time next year.

Christopher Alston contributed to this report.