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12 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM

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Experimental HIV vaccine shows promise in early trial

Experimental HIV vaccine shows promise in early trial

An experimental HIV vaccine was safe and triggered strong immune responses in healthy adults and in monkeys, researchers report.

They say it also protected two-thirds of monkeys against an HIV-like virus.

Though results of animal studies are not always the same in humans, researchers are encouraged by this early-stage study, which included nearly 400 healthy people. For their next step, they are launching a new vaccine trial that will include 2,600 women in southern Africa who are at risk of HIV infection.

The experimental HIV-1 vaccine is one of five that have progressed to tests of effectiveness in humans.

While previous experimental HIV-1 vaccines have usually been limited to specific regions of the world, this vaccine combines different HIV viruses.

The aim is to trigger immune responses against a wide variety of HIV strains, according to authors of the study published Friday in The Lancet medical journal.

"These results should be interpreted cautiously," study leader Dr Dan Barouch said in a journal news release.

"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," he added. Barouch is director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He is also a professor at Harvard Medical School.

Dr George Pavlakis and Dr Barbara Felber of the US Cancer Institute wrote an editorial that accompanied the study. "Despite unprecedented advances in HIV treatment and prophylaxis, the number of people living with HIV infection continues to increase worldwide," they wrote.

"Implementation of even a moderately effective HIV vaccine together with the existing HIV prevention and treatment strategies is expected to contribute greatly to the evolving HIV/AIDS response," the editorial continued. "It is therefore essential that a commitment to pursue multiple vaccine development strategies continues at all stages."

About 37 million people worldwide have HIV/AIDS, and there are 1.8 million new cases a year.

As we all know, AIDS and HIV is an ever present health issue in our society. As yet there is still no known vaccine that can be used to stem the flow of this deadly infection. To raise awareness of the continued need for a vaccine there is a day set aside every year that is known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, or World Aids Day. it is held every year on May 18. As well as raising awareness of the need for a vaccine it also celebrates those that work towards this goal. All those who help victims of the infection also receive praise on this poignant day. In 1997, during a speech made at Morgan State University, president of the day Bill Clinton asked for experts and scientists around the world to work towards creating a vaccine for AIDS. He said that this would be the only way to limit its spread and eventually wipe it out.

World Aids Vaccine Day takes place on May 18th. The first was observed on May 18 in 1998. One year exactly after Clinton’s speech. Every year since then the commemoration has take place. Activities are organised around the globe.

The aim of the activities is to raise awareness of the need for AIDS vaccines and to educate people about how HIV can be prevented. Ordinary people are reminded that they can also play a part in ending the pandemic.

    HealthDay   

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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