Scientists find ‘glimmer of hope’ in early HIV vaccine trial

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Image credit: Deccan Herald

There may be a glimmer of hope in the fight to protect people from HIV-1, the most widespread type of the virus and the one that causes the most disease globally.

A new vaccine appears to be safe and induced an immune response in humans and rhesus monkeys in an early stage trial, according to new research published [July 6] in the journal The Lancet.

That means it’s safe enough to go into the next phase of testing, which involves a larger number of humans. It’s one of only five experimental HIV-1 vaccine concepts that have gotten this far.

In addition to being well-tolerated by all the test subjects and inducing an immune response against HIV in humans, the vaccine provided 67% protection against infection from the simian-human immunodeficiency virus in the rhesus monkeys.

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Researchers caution that the results of the early trial do not mean a viable vaccine. The ability to induce HIV-specific immune responses does not necessarily mean the vaccine will protect humans from HIV infection.

“Despite all the advances we have had with HIV, we need a vaccine. It is critical, and this new vaccine, while there is a long way to go, it is nice to see robust evidence to move on to the next phase of testing,” [said researcher Carlos del Rio].

Read full, original post: Scientists cautiously optimistic about HIV vaccine candidate

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