HIV: soon a preventive vaccine with encouraging results

An experimental HIV vaccine will be tested on 2,600 women in southern Africa.

This is new hope in the fight against AIDS: an experimental vaccine has caused an immune response in humans and protected macaques from infection. The results of this study were published in The Lancet.

For the purpose of this research, 393 healthy and seronegative adults received four injections of one of seven combinations of this vaccine or placebo, spread over 48 weeks. All vaccine regimens generated an anti-HIV immune response and were well tolerated.

At the same time, researchers tested the same combinations of this vaccine on 72 monkeys. The latter were then exposed to the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a combination of the vaccine that was more effective than the others and protected 67% of the vaccinated monkeys against infection.

If these results are to be taken with tweezers and may not have the same effects on humans, they are still promising, according to the researchers. "They represent an important step"says Dan Barouch, lead author of the study.

This vaccine, which is among the five to have reached this test phase in 35 years, will now be administered to 2,600 women in southern Africa.

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