Medicine

"Very close": HIV Vaccine ready to test on humans

Medical science has cured many diseases and now a new study reveals HIV vaccine that has the potential to protect people around the world as the treatment has shown promising results.

Participants in the research were selected from 12 clinics in East Africa, South Africa, Thailand, and the USA.

A vaccine is a vital weapon in the war against the virus, which infects an 1.8 million people each year. The vaccine proved to be safe, contributed to the increase in the concentration of antibodies against the protein shell of HIV, activated T-cell populations and active phagocytosis of the foreign cells. Scientists must await the results of this trial find out whether the vaccine cannot only provoke an immune response, but actively protect against HIV.

Approximately 37 million people worldwide are believed to be living with HIV or AIDS, with children accounting for two million of them.

They mentioned that a further trial (phase 2b) has already been started in South Africa to test whether the vaccine can effectively prevent HIV infection in people. The ability to induce HIV-specific immune responses does not necessarily mean the vaccine will protect humans from HIV infection.

While the results so far have been encouraging, the research team and outside experts warn there are no guarantees it will actually work in the next trial phase dubbed HVTN705 or "Imbokodo" - this is Zulu word for "rock".

Dr. Dan Barouch, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of the study, told Newsweek he is "cautiously optimistic" about the results, but stressed there are many obstacles to overcome before a vaccine is rolled out for humans.

The researchers also noted several limitations, including the fact that that the relevance of vaccine protection in rhesus monkeys to clinical efficacy in humans remains unclear. The achievement was considered to be too small for the drug to go ahead and come into the market as a HIV vaccine.

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The developers eagerly preparing a drug to test for HIV people, and hope for success.

But for this "mosaic" vaccine, scientists have developed a treatment made up of pieces of different HIV viruses.

"This is only the fifth HIV vaccine concept that will be tested for efficacy in humans in the 35+ year history of the global HIV epidemic", Barouch added.

This is created to see how effective it really is at protecting people against HIV-1.

HIV mainly is a virus which is causing a deadly disease known as AIDS, Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Now it is to move on to the next stage of human clinical trials wherein it would be tested on 2,600 women in southern Africa to check if it prevents HIV infection in them.

This study was funded by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV and the National Institutes of Health (OD024917, AI068618, AI078526, AI096040, AI124377, AI126603, AI128751, TR001102), the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, and a cooperative agreement (W81XWH-07-2-0067) between the Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine and the US Department of Defense. "But the data is promising and we are happy to report the immune response". Partly because there are so many different HIV strains.


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