Experimental Vaccine Has Potential against Wide Variety of HIV Strains | Medicine

An estimated 37 million people live with HIV  AIDS according to the World Health Organization

An estimated 37 million people live with HIV AIDS according to the World Health Organization

While these results are not flawless, they "represent an important milestone", Harvard professor, Dan Barouch, said. "We have to acknowledge that developing an HIV vaccine is an unprecedented challenge, and we will not know for sure whether this vaccine will protect humans". This vaccine is one of the five experimental HIV-1 vaccine concepts that reached such a success in nearly 40 years of HIV pandemic.

Asked for his opinion, Robert Gallo, MD, co-founder and director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said that there are probably seven or eight studies of HIV vaccines going on right now, and the real question is obviously will be what the efficacy trials of this vaccine will say.

Comparatively, the new HIV vaccine yielded better immunization rate and virtually no side effects.

Nevertheless, the promising results of the study mean researchers will next test the treatment on 2,600 women in southern Africa who are at risk of getting the illness - one of only five vaccines to make it to this stage of so-called efficacy trials. Primary endpoints of the study included safety and tolerability of the vaccine regimens as well as immunogenicity.

The mixture of HIV strains in the "mosaic" vaccine is delivered using a nonreplicating common-cold virus.

Dr Brady added that in the meantime there were already tools that were effective for preventing the disease from spreading, such as contraception and treatments for HIV-positive people that prevent them from passing on the virus.

They found that "all vaccine regimens tested were capable of generating anti-HIV immune responses in healthy individuals", meaning that the study participants built up some kind of protection from the virus.

The new so-called mosaic vaccine is composed of proteins of various strains of this virus, so ideally should be universal protection.

About nine years ago, another HIV vaccine, RV144, also showed positive results in initial experiments carried out on 16,000 volunteers in Thailand.

More testing is now needed to determine if the immune response produced can prevent HIV infection in people. An estimated 37 million people live with HIV/Aids, according to the World Health Organisation.

All of the vaccines prompted anti-HIV immune responses in the participants, the results revealed. The virus is able to mutate to avoid the attack of the human immune system, so we can't develop immunity to it. The adults came from clinics across East Africa, South Africa, the USA and Thailand. Scientists must await the results of this trial find out whether the vaccine cannot only provoke an immune response, but actively protect against HIV.

"I can not emphasise how badly we need to have a vaccine.to get rid of HIV in the next generation altogether", said Francois Venter of the University of the Witwatersrand Reproductive Health and HIV Institute in South Africa.

Buchbinder said that she hoped "to validate our non-human primate model to see if it works for humans and if we see the same correlates of protection".

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