Harvard Researchers Make Headway On HIV Vaccine

Harvard Researchers Make Headway On HIV Vaccine

Harvard Researchers Make Headway On HIV Vaccine

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

The researchers tested the different variants of the vaccine on healthy participants from 18 to 50 years old, not infected with HIV.

In the case of the monkeys, one version of the vaccine prevented HIV infection in two-thirds of the monkeys, but this was based on a group of just 12. The drug showed it could boost the immune responses against HIV.

Inventing a vaccine has proved an vast challenge for scientists, in part because there are so many strains of the virus, but also because HIV is adept at mutating to elude attack from our immune systems. Scientists must await the results of this trial find out whether the vaccine cannot only provoke an immune response, but actively protect against HIV.

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BBC News reported on the study Saturday, noting that there are now over 37 million people living with HIV/AIDS around the globe, and the number increases by 1.8 million every year.

There is a drug - Prep - which is effective at preventing HIV infection.

A team of Harvard-led scientists is seeing positive results after testing a multi-strain HIV vaccine - dubbed the "mosaic" - in humans.

These combine pieces of different HIV virus types to elicit an immune response - when the body attacks intruder germs - against virus strains from different regions of the world.

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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. To date, the "mosaic" is one among the only five experimental HIV vaccines that have proceeded to efficacy human trials. Each year, around 2 million people are diagnosed with HIV.

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. "We eagerly await the results of the phase 2b efficacy trial called HVTN705, or "Imbokodo", which will determine whether or not this vaccine will protect humans against acquiring HIV". They also note that there is no definitive immunological measurement that is known to predict protection against HIV-1 in humans. It's unclear whether it would provide protection in humans.

Based on the results from this phase 1/2a clinical trial that involved almost 400 healthy adults, a phase 2b trial has been initiated in southern Africa to determine the safety and efficacy of the HIV-1 vaccine candidate in 2,600 women at risk for acquiring HIV.

This means the person had produced antibodies that would be able to bind to proteins found on the surface of the HIV virus. In early human trials the vaccine has been found to be safe in humans. "But the data is promising and we are happy to report the immune response". A condom is the most effective form of protection against HIV and other STIs.

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