Yeah, you read right. HIV’s days are numbered, and the world is optimistic about welcoming a HIV free generation. Scientists are set to eliminate HIV once and for all, and they’ll be starting with South Africa.
As culled from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) news release, a large-scale HIV vaccine trial will be launched in South Africa.
Speaking about this, Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) related that “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.”
“For the first time in seven years” he said, “the scientific community is embarking on a large-scale clinical trial of an HIV vaccine, the product of years of study and experimentation.”
As related, an early-stage HIV vaccine clinical trial in South Africa showed that an investigational vaccine regimen is not only safe, but generates comparable response to those reported in a landmark 2009 study. Altogether, showing that a vaccine can protect people from HIV infection.
With that, NIAID and its partners decided to to advance the experimental HIV vaccine regimen into a large clinical trial.
Named HVTN 702, the large clinical trial of the experimental HIV vaccine is designed to determine whether the regimen is safe, tolerable and effective at preventing HIV infection among South African adults.
Ultimately, the large clinical trial is meant to eliminate HIV and will commence November this year pending the approval of the regulatory body.
The trial will be led by Dr. Glenda Gray the president and chief executive officer of the South African Medical Research Council, research professor of pediatrics at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and a director of the Perinatal HIV Research Unit at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa.
Commenting, Gray said: “HVTN 702 will tell us whether the initial success observed in HVTN 100 will bear fruit in the form of a safe and effective HIV vaccine designed for the people of southern Africa.”
BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that all study participants will receive a total of five injections over one year. The volunteers will be randomly assigned to receive either the investigational vaccine regimen or a placebo.
Also, the safety of participants will be closely monitored throughout the trial, and participants will receive the standard of care for preventing HIV infection.
Study participants who are infected with HIV during the trial will be referred to local medical providers for care and treatment and will be counseled on how to reduce their risk of transmitting the virus.
Remember, the ultimate goal is to eliminate HIV. Think about a South Africa without HIV, you’ll see reasons to volunteer for this HIV clinical trial project.