New HIV vaccine tested on humans

HIV testing

However, he warned: "The challenges in the development of an HIV vaccine are unprecedented, and the ability to induce HIV-specific immune responses does not necessarily indicate that a vaccine will protect humans from HIV infection".

Barouch and colleagues found that, among 393 participants in the APPROACH trial receiving at least one dose of study vaccine, the mosaic adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) plus high-dose gp140 boost vaccine produced the greatest immune responses in humans - with antibody responses in 100% of participants at week 52, and T-cell responses in 83% at week 50. "Obviously, the search for an HIV vaccine is very elusive", said Dr. Carlos del Rio, who was not involved with the study but has done similar research as the co-principal investigator of the Emory-CDC HIV Clinical Trials Unit.

As a part of this study, the HIV vaccine was tested on three hundred ninety-three people. Buchbinder explained that Imbokodo is from a South African proverb about the strength of women that says "you strike the women, you strike the rock", as the trial is in the process of enrolling 2,600 non-pregnant HIV-negative women ages 18 to 35.

According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that 37 million people live with HIV and AIDS and there are approximately 1.8 million new infections every year.

The study was carried out by researchers from a number of institutions, including Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and the pharmaceutical company Janssen. Till date, this is the first out of five HIV vaccine concepts to have showed a positive response in nearly around 40 years of the HIV virus causing havoc among humans.

A team of Harvard-led scientists is seeing positive results after testing a multi-strain HIV vaccine - dubbed the "mosaic" - in humans. The HIV-1 vaccine proved safe and is now set to go to the next phase, which will be conducted in 2600 women in Southern Africa in a trial called imbokodo, a Zulu word for "rock".

While these results are not flawless, they "represent an important milestone", Harvard professor, Dan Barouch, said.

Previous HIV-1 vaccine candidates have typically been limited to specific regions of the world. In the phase one clinical trial, researchers focused on HIV-1.

Only one vaccine has ever shown evidence of protecting against HIV.

In the near four decades since the start of the Aids crisis, this is only the fifth experimental vaccine that has progressed to a stage where it can be tested on humans.

In the meantime, you can reduce your risk of contracting HIV by using a condom for all types of sex and by never sharing a needle if you're an injecting drug user.

Dr Michael Brady, medical director at the Terrence Higgins Trust, said it was early days for the vaccine but the signs were "promising".

While the researchers say these results are a step in the right direction, a new round of testing must occur to prove the drug is effective in staving off the disease in humans. "But the data is promising and we are happy to report the immune response".

The most effective version, given to 12 monkeys, managed to provide protection to 8 of them, while the other 4 eventually became infected.

3d rendered HIV Virus in Blood Stream in color background.

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