Researchers have initiated a new study trial which seeks to determine the effects of a potential new HIV vaccine which could help prevent the AIDS-causing virus.
This new clinical study will be testing an experimental, new vaccine, the HVTN 702 which is based on previous collaborations and studies.
The HVTN 702 clinical trial will be following in the steps of the Thailand-based collaboration between the country’s Ministry of Health and the Unites States Military HIV Research Program.
NIH or the National Institutes of Health stated that this newest HIV vaccine trial will be both the largest and the most advanced study of its kind.
HVTN 702 will be carried out in South Africa, a country which has about 7 million HIV infected residents.
Anthony S. Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, offered some details about the trial.
He stated that the HIV vaccine trial has been adapted so as to target the virus subtype which predominates in the African country.
The same Fauci declared that the location was also chosen because of the pervasive nature of the pandemic.
According to statistics, over 1,000 people get infected daily with the virus across the South African territory.
The HIV vaccine trial study will seek to enroll a number of 5,400 patients. It will include both women and men in between the ages of 18 and 35.
Any interested patients will be able to enroll from one of the specially designated sites opened throughout the country.
As the aforementioned Fauci expressed the health organization’s hopes, he also revealed the quite high expectations placed on the vaccine.
His statement revealed that a highly or even moderately effective such vaccine could generate important results in the battle against HIV.
The HVTN 702, in collaboration with the current range of HIV prevention tools, could come to mark the end of the virus pandemic which has been affecting millions of people.
Even if the vaccine proves to be just moderately effective, it would still have a significant effect in the battle with the disease. Even if would not prevent all the potential infections, a vaccine would still significantly reduce the number of infestations.
Before the Thailand-based study, there was little hope for the existence of an HIV vaccine.
However, the RV144 candidate went to prove that such a solution may actually exist. The RV144 resulted in a protection rate of just 31 percent, which was not enough so as to be commercialized, but it did attract attention.
Following its announcement, researchers have been analyzing its data and are hoping that the newest trial will have a significantly higher effectiveness rate.
The first participant in the HVTN 702 trial was registered last month, in October. As such, the results of the clinical study trial are estimated to be ready by 2020.
However, there is great hope for the possible HIV vaccine as it could come to ensure a sustainable, higher protection rate.
The South African Medical Research Council Chief Executive Officer and President, Glenda Gray, expressed the scientific community’s targets.
If a vaccine was found to be effective in South Africa, the course of both their national and the international pandemic could take a significant turn for the better.
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