Washington, Nov 29:The first HIV vaccine is now being study in seven years has begun in South Africa that aims to test wheather a vaccine candidate can provide effective protection against the AIDS virus, enroll several thousand people, said the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is funding the study.
The researchers want to enroll 5,400 sexually active men and women ages 18 to 35 who do not have HIV, and results are expected in 2020, the NIH said.
“If deployed alongside our current armoury of proven HIV prevention tools, a safe and effective vaccine could be the final nail in the coffin for HIV,” said Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Anthony Fauci in a statement.
The experimental vaccine regimen being tested in HVTN 702 is based on the one investigated in the RV144 clinical trial in Thailand that was found to be 31.2 per cent effective at preventing HIV infection over the 3.5-year follow-up after vaccination.
The new trial, to be conducted at 15 sites across South Africa, where more than 1,000 people become infected with HIV every day, aims to test whether it will provide greater and more sustained protection than the RV144 regimen.
“If an HIV vaccine were found to work in South Africa, it could dramatically alter the course of the pandemic,” said HVTN 702 Protocol Chair and President of the South African Medical Research Council Glenda Gray.
Sanofi Pasteur will supply the ALVAC-HIV vaccine, and GlaxoSmithKline will provide the protein subunit vaccine.