New HIV vaccine trial fueling hopes to protect us from AIDS

New HIV vaccine trial fueling hopes to protect us from AIDS

photo credit: hehill.com

We are going to mark Worlds AIDS Day tomorrow i.e.December 1. So today according to the Reuters report, the announcement of another large HIV vaccine efficacy study has been done by the scientists. Despite past disappointments this time it buoyed hopes for a protective shot against the virus that causes AIDS.

In southern Africa, the starts of the new trial involving 2,600 women. And this is the first time in more than a decade there is now two big HIV vaccine clinical trials taking place at the same time.

As per as the Reuters report, the new study is testing a two-vaccine combination developed by Johnson & Johnson with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The first vaccine, also backed by NIH, began a trial last November.

In 2009 in Thailand, both the studies aim to build on the modest success of a previous trial.

“We’re making progress,” said J&J Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels, who believes it should be possible to achieve effectiveness above 50%.

“That is the goal. Hopefully, we get much higher,” he told to Reuters.

The new vaccines require a second shot to boost the body’s response and one dose to prime the immune system.

Significantly, J&J’s latest vaccine uses so-called mosaic technology to combine immune-stimulating proteins from different HIV strains, representing different types of virus from around the world, which should produce a “global” vaccine.

One reason why making an HIV vaccine has proved so difficult in the past is the variability of the virus.

Although modern HIV drugs have turned the disease from a death sentence into a chronic condition, a vaccine is still seen as critical in rolling back the pandemic, since the number of people infected is still growing.

Some 37 million individuals around the world currently have HIV and around 1.8 million became newly infected last year.

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