Vaccines Not Working Against AIDS or HIV

HIV budding (in green) occurs when the HIV particles are released from the cell. Image by CDC.

HIV budding (in green) occurs when the HIV particles are released from the cell. Image by CDC.

Researchers have been on a long quest for a vaccine that would help prevent AIDS and they thought they were so close with this newest vaccine… Unfortunately, however, the latest study finds that the vaccine isn’t preventing any HIV infections and it hasn’t reduced the amount of AIDS virus in the bloodstream.

AIDS/HIV: Two-Part Vaccine

The study that tested the vaccine enrolled 2,504 participants, mainly gay men, in 19 different cities in 2009. Half of the participants received a placebo and the other half received the two-part experimental vaccine that was developed by the National Institute of Health. The vaccine, called HVTN505  is given at two separate times.

  • The first part of the vaccine is made with genetically engineered HIV material, this is intended to prime the immune system.
  • The second vaccine, made up of the same material but wrapped up inside  a cold virus, is given as a booster shot. The idea was that the vaccine would train the T cells to recognize the first cells that were attacked by HIV. Researches had hoped that this vaccine would prevent HIV or for someone who already had HIV, that it would help them fight it.

AIDS Vaccine Study Results

The results from this study found that there were 41 HIV infections in the group that was given the vaccine and there were 30 HIV infections among those who received the placebo. The vaccine HVTN505 was stopped by the National Institute of Health on April 25, 2013. However, researchers will continue to study the health of those who received the HVTN505 vaccine. Although researchers are disappointed, they are not giving up, new research suggest trying to build stronger antibodies that could work before the T cells and not allow HIV to get inside the cells.

Click to Read Page Two: Interview With AIDS Vaccine Advisory Coalition, Mitchell Warren

© Copyright 2013 Janelle Vaesa, MPH, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Science
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