Scientist are launching a test trial in South Africa for a new vaccine against HIV that might just be “the final nail in the coffin” for the plague if it turns out to be successful.
HVTN 702, is the name of the study which aims to enroll approximately 5,000 sexually active men and women who are in the age range of 18 to 35 at 15 locations across South Africa.
The study is considered to be the largest and most advanced HIV medical trial to be launched in South Africa, where it is presume that more then 1,000 people a day are exposed to the virus.
U.S. government’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director, Anthony Fauci, stated “If deployed alongside our current armory of proven HIV prevention tools, a safe and effective vaccine could be the final nail in the coffin”.
“As moderately effective vaccine would significantly decrease the burden of HIV disease over time in countries and populations with high rates of HIV infection,” said Fauci.
The vaccine used in a 2009 trial in Thailand which resulted to be 31.2% effective in preventing HIV infection through the course of a period of 3.5 years of continuous check up after the vaccination is the base for HVTN 702.
With an aim to provide greater and more steady protection; the new vaccine has been altered to fit the HIV subtype that predominantes in the Southern parts of Africa.
Southern African Research Council, Glenda Gray, said that “HIV has taken a devastating toll in South Africa, but now we begin a new science exploration that could hold great promise…”
“If an HIV vaccine were found to work in South Africa, it could dramatically alter the course of the pendimic.”
People who volunteer for the medical trial will be assigned to be given the vaccine regime or a placebo. Everyone who partake in the study will be given five injections a year.
Although South Africa has had a successful HIV drug treatment program, it accounts for 6.8 million people infected with HIV in the country.
Life expantancy has grown from 57.1 years in 2009 to 62.9 years in 2014, which had previously dwindled because of the epidemic.
By 2020 scientist should have the results for the HVTN 702 vaccine medical trial.