New prophylactic HIV vaccine shows promise

New prophylactic HIV vaccine shows promise

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.

However, some other researchers have cautioned that the new vaccine's ability to induce an HIV specific immune response does not actually mean that it would prevent the humans from the infection itself.

Clinical trials of an HIV vaccine that is supposed to protect the person from different strains have shown promising results.

Comparatively, the new HIV vaccine yielded better immunization rate and virtually no side effects. A new study published in the Lancet reveals that scientists have tested the vaccine on humans and rhesus monkeys, and they plan to administer it to a group of 2,600 women at risk for HIV in southern Africa next.

The vaccine containing "mosaic" HIV Env/Gag/Pol antigens was created from many HIV strains, delivered using a non-replicating common-cold virus (Ad26).

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.

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The province has already committed $3 million to the Red Cross and offered up the 800 spaces that these people now occupy in college dorms, she said.

But despite advances in treatment for HIV, both a cure and a vaccine for the virus have so far remained elusive.

In total, it's approximated that almost 80 million people have been infected since the HIV virus was first detected in the early 1980s - and 35 million have died.

"This study demonstrates that the mosaic Ad26 prime, Ad26 plus gp140 boost HIV vaccine candidate induced robust immune responses in humans and monkeys with comparable magnitude, kinetics, phenotype, and durability and also provided 67 per cent protection against viral challenge in monkeys", said Barouch. Thousands of people are still contracting HIV every year in the US - an estimated 38,500 people became infected with the virus in 2015 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest statistics.

There has been a four decades long challenge to develop a vaccine against the deadly HIV virus that causes AIDS. The treatment was also able to protect monkeys from a virus very similar to HIV, although not HIV itself. The human trial participants came from 12 clinics in South Africa, east Africa, Thailand and the United States.

"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. In 48 weeks, they received four vaccinations. Though the vaccine triggered a response in the immune system of the people who took it, it is not clear if this would be enough to fight off the virus and prevent infection. The human trial, which involved 393 participants, produced an anti-HIV immune system response. It's unclear whether it would provide protection in humans.

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