Researchers are in great spirits that a vaccination against the AIDS could be possible after clinical trials of large number of adult males and animals showed results that are classified as ‘promising’ The vaccine could be ground-breaking as it holds the potential to save countless lives that are lost as the result of this drug. In the initial testings, testing showed that the new drug stopped 2/3rd of apes from contracting a virus which has similar traits to HIV and boosted an anti-HIV immune system response in four hundred adults healthy adults, according to the study published in The Lancet.
Now the testing will move to the next phase in order to see if the immune response can be replicated and prevent HIV infection in human beings. A staggering number of 37 million people all over the planet have either HIV or AID and about 1.8 million people are added to the list every single year.
The drug named Prep, which is short pre-exposure prophylaxis, is quite successful in preventing HIV infection, but, what makes it different from a vaccine is it needs to be introduced to the system regularly, it stops the virus from progressing. It is expected this promising vaccine would offer much better defense against the almost several number of HIV strains found across the planet. Just 4 HIV vaccines have ever been tested on adults, making this promising test an ‘important milestone’ according to the lead researchers. But Dan Barouch, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said: ‘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.’
Researchers experimented with various combinations of the mosaic vaccine in people ranging from age 18 to 50 who didn’t have HIV and were healthy. The test subjects, from the US, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, and Thailand, received four vaccinations over the time period of 48 weeks. Surprisingly, all of the vaccine combinations created an anti-HIV immune system response and were proven to be safe for use. Researchers also performed the similar study at the same time where they gave monkeys the vaccine to protect them from catching simian-human immunodeficiency virus – a virus of same nature to HIV that infects monkeys. The mosaic vaccine combination that displayed the most promise in humans was found to protect 67% of the 72 monkeys from getting the virus. Dr Michael Brady, Medical Director at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: ‘It’s still very early days for this HIV vaccine, but the signs are promising and very few trials progress to testing in humans who are at risk of HIV.’