Monday, February 24, 2003

A promising AIDS vaccine

This is the first look at the potential for a human vaccine against the deadly virus, which killed more than three million people worldwide last year. 43 million people living with HIV across the world. After three-year study involving more than 5,000 volunteers, VaxGen announced that this vaccine only reduced the rate of HIV infection by 3.8%. Interestingly, black and Asian people, however, had a 67% lower rate of infection than those who received a placebo shot.
This vaccine, known as AidsVax, is the only HIV vaccine to have completed Phase III clinical trials - the last step before drug companies can seek approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. A synthetic copy of proteins found in HIV is used to try to sensitise the body's immune system to the virus so that it produces anti-bodies to fight it. The hepatitis B vaccine successfully uses the same approach.
Therefore, we must continue to expand existing prevention efforts. Good sex education and HIV prevention programmes remains our biggest weapon against the continued spread of the virus(reference BBC).
(posted by Iman)

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