AIDS Vaccine Possible Before End Of This Decade, HIV Scientist Says

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

HIV Particle

HIV Particle (Photo credit: AJC1)

A vaccine to protect against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS may be available before the end of this decade, a leading HIV research scientist says. RV144 may be the answer to fighting HIV/AIDS.

“We’re really working as fast as we can,” said Colonel Nelson Michael, director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, “who expects large-scale effectiveness studies to start in 2016,” according to a report in Reuters:

The hope is to have at least 50 percent effectiveness, a level that mathematical modelers say could have a major impact on the epidemic. Michael thinks this might be the pathway for getting the first HIV vaccine licensed, possibly by 2019.

Exciting news- Read the rest here

On the HIV vaccine front:

Science Daily is reporting that research is promising in the early development of anti-HIV neutralizing antibodies- which means good news on the HIV vaccine front. Excerpt:

…a major stumbling block in the development of an effective vaccine against HIV is the inability to elicit, by immunization, broadly reactive neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). These antibodies bind to the surface of HIV and prevent it from attaching itself to a cell and infecting it. However, a fraction of people infected with HIV develop broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) capable of preventing cell-infection by diverse HIV isolates, which are the type of antibodies researchers wish to elicit by vaccination.

The full article here.

Gene Research Finds Important Clue In Long-Term HIV Survivors

H I V

There are human beings who live with HIV- some for decades, without ever having had a symptom.

Not one. The Boston Globe:

For decades, they lived a mystery: Why were they able to survive with the AIDS virus, free of symptoms and the need for potent drugs, while so many others with the same germ turned deathly ill?

Their innate ability to keep HIV infections in check intrigued researchers, who suspected these people, known as “controllers,’’ might carry clues to designing effective vaccines after nearly 30 years of frustration.

Now, an international team of researchers, led by specialists in Boston, has cracked these HIV survivors’ genetic code, sifting through almost 1.4 million pieces of DNA to discover five amino acids that separate the small cadre of controllers from the vast majority who must take medication or face death.

This is the kind of research that could actually go somewhere. The full article here.