Main | Thursday, September 29, 2011

More Promising HIV Vaccine News

While many who work down in the trenches of HIV/AIDS activism have long given up any hope of an effective vaccine in our lifetimes, small glimmers of hope continue to occasionally peek through the clouds. From a small vaccine study in Spain, a result that may reduce HIV to a "minor chronic infection" such as herpes:
The trial demonstrated how the vaccine stimulates the production of lymphocytes B, which produces HIV attacking antibodies that block the virus from infecting healthy cells. Blood tests during the 48th week revealed that 72.7% of the treated volunteers had developed these HIV fighting antibodies. However generating a long lasting response against future attacks truly renders the vaccine effective. This is achieved when the body maintains a basic memory level of T lymphocytes, which are generated after the first attack and can circulate the body for years. The T lymphocytes are responsible for stimulating the attacked cell's immune response, which can then identify and destroy the HIV virus. Blood tests during the 48th week revealed that the 85% of the patients maintained the memory T lymphocytes immune response. "MVA-B immune profile meets, initially, the requirements for a promising HIV vaccine," says Esteban. Although it does not remove the virus from the body, the immune response induced by the vaccine could keep the virus under control by destroying the infected cell.
A new phase of trials with infected volunteers is set to commence. While this and other vaccine studies have showed some promise, most have failed. And none have been shown to work in all subjects.

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