HIV Vaccine: February 2007 Archives

WHOThe new initiative was announced today by the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to contribute to global efforts to develop HIV vaccines.

Developing a safe and effective vaccine to protect people against HIV is one of the most important goals in public health. The world has already lost tens of millions of lives to this virus and we must do everything we can to prevent future deaths.

The new Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative partnership will make a significant contribution to this effort through the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, established through the efforts of the G8 countries.

Wits launches first rural HIV vaccine trial site

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clinical trialsThe Wits University has launched an HIV vaccine trial site at Mkhuhlu in Mpumalanga. The launch was attended by Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, the deputy minister of the department of health and Derek Hanekom, the deputy minister of the department of science and technology.

This trial site is the first to be established in a rural area in the country. The four other HIV vaccine sites are in urban areas including Soweto, Cape Town, Pretoria and Klerskdorp. Steve Pollman, a professor at Wits University says the HIV vaccine trial site is expected to start functioning in July. He says there will be more than one HIV vaccine to be tested. The vaccine trials are expected to last for three years.

Prostitutes join AIDS vaccine study

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clinical trialsLAS GUARANAS, Dominican Republic - Leaving her tin-roofed brothel for the day, the 42-year-old prostitute journeys to the capital for an injection that might save not only her life, but possibly millions more around the world.

Jacinta Julia Adams Fernández, a mother of three, is one of 175 Dominican prostitutes lending their bodies to a trial of what New Jersey-based Merck & Co. hopes will prove to be a vaccine against the virus that causes AIDS.

Since turning to prostitution after a divorce 13 years ago, Adams has seen friends and co-workers die from the disease. Prostitution is illegal but widespread, largely ignored by the authorities.

AIDS/Smallpox Vaccine OK in Early Test

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GeoVaxFeb. 9, 2007 -- An AIDS vaccine that uses a genetically engineered smallpox virus to boost anti-HIV immunity looks promising in early tests on humans.

In animal tests, the vaccine did not protect monkeys against infection with an AIDS virus. But vaccinated animals remained healthy -- and suffered no immune damage from the deadly virus.

Now, nine humans have received small doses of the vaccine: about one-tenth of the full dose. The vaccine was safe. And even at this tiny dose, it stimulated the kind of immune responses that protected monkeys.

The vaccine is the brainchild of Harriet Robinson, MD, chief of microbiology and immunology at Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Robinson is chief scientific advisor to GeoVax Labs Inc. of Atlanta, spun off from Emory University's vaccine center to market the vaccine.

South African HIV vaccine trial begins

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HIV/AIDS in AfricaA large-scale HIV vaccine trial has begun in South Africa.

The trial, the largest clinical trial to date, will see 3,000 HIV-negative men and women receive a vaccine containing copies of three HIV genes. Volunteers will not receive the full copy of the HIV virus, making it impossible to be infected in the trial.

Previous trials of the vaccine found it to be safe in stimulating cellular immune responses against HIV.
IAVIThe International AIDS Vaccine Initiative's (IAVI) January 2007 Annual Issue of VAX, an editorially independent bulletin on AIDS vaccine research published by IAVI, reports that 13 new preventive AIDS vaccine trials were initiated in eight countries around the world in 2006. There are now more than 30 trials ongoing in 24 countries, across every continent.

This annual publication provides the only comprehensive listing of all AIDS vaccine clinical trial activity worldwide.