A successful vaccine for HIV would be huge, even though we have taken huge steps in both HIV prevention and care. Now, a large scale trial has been announced for South Africa, where they will test a vaccine that can significantly reduce people’s chances of being infected.
The study will begin in November, and it’s goal is to find out if the vaccine “is safe, tolerable and effective at preventing HIV infection among South African adults”.
We have of course seen attempts at a HIV vaccination before, and a Thailand study backed by the US created a vaccine that was 31% effective at preventing HIV infection for 3 and a half years.
Even if the vaccine being tested in South Africa is not as effective as other vaccines (which are usually around 90-99% effective, depending on what the vaccination is for), it could still prevent thousands of cases of HIV.
Anthony S Fauci MD of the US-based National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said: “For the first time in seven years, the scientific community is embarking on a large-scale clinical trial of an HIV vaccine, the product of years of study and experimentation. A safe and effective HIV vaccine could help bring about a durable end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and is particularly needed in southern Africa, where HIV is more pervasive than anywhere else in the world.”
The study will be conducted on 5,400 men and women aged between 18-35, all of them taken from groups deemed to be at risk for HIV.
Fingers crossed for a successful outcome!