First HIV Vaccine; US Subjects Dose To Trial

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The earth may be close to discovering the vaccine for HIV after the first dose still in its trial stages was recently administered at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, USA. Though the dreaded disease has been raising high controversy over the decades but medical experts had since been stretching their full capabilities in finding a lasting solution.

The HIV jab could be a medical revolution if it finally proves effective considering there are about two million annual new HIV infections reported globally, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Research on the vaccine, mRNA-1644, is led by International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a nonprofit scientific research body and biotechnology firm, Moderna. It has so far attracted 56 HIV negative participants aged between 18 to 50. Of the volunteers, 48 will be given the vaccine, 32 will get a booster shot and the final eight will get the booster shot. Moderna will then monitor the entire group for six months to check for safety.

But why test the HIV vaccine on negative instead of positive people? Prof  Matilu Mwau an infectious diseases expert and deputy director at Kemri explained that there are different types of vaccines and they determine the category of people to use for trials.

“There are preventative and curative vaccines. When it is preventative, you use people who are free from the disease to determine how best the vaccine works, while in curative you test it in people who have the virus to determine if it cures.”

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