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Author Topic: News from Reuters--South African Researchers Report Progress On AIDS Vaccine  (Read 2059 times)

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Offline hahaha

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  • Posts: 123
South African researchers say they have seen promising results in initial trials of potential AIDS vaccines.

Researcher Dr. Gavin Churchyard told reporters Friday in Johannesburg that preliminary data from field trials showed that one vaccine - HVTN 204 - has had some effect against strains of HIV - the virus that causes AIDS.

Another researcher, Dr. Eftyhia Vardas has been testing a separate vaccine that she says has shown to be effective in keeping down viral loads in AIDS patients. The viral load is the measurement of HIV in the blood.

Churchyard says the results are good news and an important milestone but there is still a long way to go in terms of testing the vaccines.

The researchers are part of the South African AIDS vaccine initiative, a project designed to co-ordinate the research, development and testing of AIDS vaccines.

Recent figures from the United Nation's AIDS agency show that nearly one in five South African adults aged 15 to 49 are infected with HIV.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.
Aug 9, 2006 Get infected in Japan #$%^*
Oct 2006 CD4 239
Nov 2006 CD4 299 VL 60,000
Dec 1, Sustiva, Ziagan and 3TC
Jan 07, CD4 400

Offline J220

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  • Posts: 587
Thanks for posting that, great news...

I found the full article from Reuters, it has a bit more detailed info, hope you don't mind me expanding on your original post. The original link is http://uk.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUKL3193056120070831?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews . We'll get there someday, you'll see!Cheers everybody. J.

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African researchers said on Friday they were encouraged by results from two HIV studies indicating that vaccines might one day be effective in controlling viral levels and even preventing infections.

Preliminary data from a clinical trial involving 480 uninfected people, half of them in South Africa, found that the majority of participants experienced a positive immune response after being given the HVTN 204 vaccine.

A healthy immune system can help ward off HIV infection, while those with compromised immunity are often more susceptible to contracting the virus.

"This is really good news. This is an important milestone, but we still have a long way to go," Gavin Churchyard, the study's principal investigator, said at a briefing sponsored by the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative in Johannesburg.

Churchyard, who heads South Africa's Aurum Institute for Health Research, added that the vaccine's side-effects generally had been mild to moderate for those involved in the trial.

A separate clinical trial of a DNA vaccine developed by Finland's FIT Biotech showed equally promising early results in a smaller HIV-positive group, most of which was made up of residents from Soweto, the black township south of Johannesburg.

Some 5.5 million South Africans, or about 12 percent of the total population, are infected with HIV, and 1,000 die each day from AIDS, making the country a frontline for HIV vaccine research.

Dr. Eftyhia Vardas, the principal investigator for the Finnish vaccine trial in South Africa, said the vaccine helped patients maintain low viral loads and steady CD4 cell counts, both key to keeping HIV from progressing into full-blown AIDS

The studies provided a bit of blue sky in a field of AIDS research that has generally been a huge disappointment. Previous vaccine trials that have reached the critical third phase, when effectiveness is measured, have all failed.

While some AIDS scientists have turned their attention to other potential preventative weapons -- microbicidal creams and mass male circumcision for example -- others continue to pursue the vaccine route, though admittedly with lowered expectations.

Churchyard said that vaccines, if successfully developed, would more likely be of therapeutic rather than preventative value, taking their place alongside the anti-retrovirals that have become the cornerstone of current HIV treatment.
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