Health Queer News

Rachel Zoe, Featured in PSA For HIV Vaccine Awareness “Voices For A Vaccine” (Video)

A PSA spot aimed to raise awareness for a possible vaccine for HIV via real stories thru the faces of celebrities. We lose 2 million people annually to HIV/AIDS. We need to fund innovative approaches to HIV vaccine and therapeutic HIV vaccine research. Released just last night, Rachel Zoe stars in the HIV/Aids series “Voices for a Vaccine,” a year long PSA created to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS and discuss the development of vaccines. Teaming with HIV Activist, Fortunata Kasege, and the Abzyme Research Foundation, Rachel’s character re-enacts Kasege’s personal story of preventing HIV transmission during her pregnancy.

New York, New York, January 9, 2012 – Abzyme Research Foundation releases the first of several multimedia facets to a yearlong PSA series titled “Voices For A Vaccine”. Celebrity and stylist Rachel Zoe teamed with HIV activist and spokeswoman for the Elizabeth Kaiser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Fortunata Kasege in the first made-for-web video that launches February 2nd at a private event in downtown Manhattan. The video will then be featured online at

The media project’s objective is to amplify the affect an HIV vaccine will eventually have on the lives of individuals who have been touched by HIV. While celebrities lend their public images, activists lend their strong voices for online and broadcast videos. Through Zoe’s image, the voice of Kasege can be heard retelling her story of preventing HIV transmission to her daughter during pregnancy.

“We believe that by openly discussing HIV/AIDS vaccine development,” said Zach Barnett, Abzyme Research Foundation founder, “We grow closer to potentially providing accessible prevention, treatment, and a cure for the over 33 million HIV-positive people worldwide.”

About Abzyme Research Foundation:

All HIV/AIDS organizations agree that a vaccine is essential to eradicate HIV/AIDS and Abyzme
Research Foundation believes that abzymes are the key. During the 2012 calendar year, Abzyme
Research Foundation will raise $1.5 Million to propel HIV E-VAC, an innovative therapeutic HIV
vaccine candidate developed at University of Texas Houston, into human trials. The international
philanthropic community spends $15 Billion dollars annually fighting AIDS, yet .09% of this funding
is dedicated to cure/therapeutic vaccine research. Even smaller is the percentage dedicated to
translational research.

Abzyme Research Foundation was formed in 2010 after the afore mentioned HIV E-VAC was not
granted funding from the NIH for human trials despite having received an extremely prestigious top
10 percentile score in peer review. Founder Zachary Barnett was shocked that vaccine candidates
that were shown to be safe and efficient in pre-clinical studies were not being tested due to shrinking
government budgetary restrictions. Paired with a lack of investments in cure research by the for-profit
medical industry, the Foundation had sufficient cause to raise public and private support to move the
vaccine into human trial.

Our goal is to validate the preclinical studies that show that abzymes are capable of destroying HIV’s
ability to replicate in HIV-positive human tissue samples. Abzymes are naturally produced in long-
term HIV survivors, and in Lupus patients, and their potency shows great promise as a therapy. A

majority of deaths in the developing world due to AIDS related illnesses occur because there is a lack
of access to treatment. A more effective and less frequently required treatment would save countless

Leave a Reply