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Thousands Of HIV Patients To Be Injected With HIV Vaccine In Human Trials

HIV.C. Goldsmith/Wikimedia

Even though HIV has been part of the human consciousness for several decades, creating a cure has proven difficult. Now, an international collaboration is about to perform human trials by injecting thousands of patients who are suffering from the infectious disease with a new kind of vaccine. This provides hope that the deadly virus can finally be eradicated once and for all.

The initiative is courtesy of a partnership between Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Futurism reports. The trials will be conducted in Africa, where 2,600 women will be given the vaccine.

Set to last three years, the trials will involve two stages. The first injection will essentially prime the immune system of the subjects while the second is intended to boost the response of the body to the vaccine.

As to what these women will be injected with, it’s apparently a mosaic of different strains of HIV in order to essentially cast as wide a net as possible. The hope is that this would prevent infection from any or all strains of the virus.

Speaking to Reuters, J&J Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels believes that the vaccination trials will yield a 50 percent success rate. Even if it doesn’t, it would still be a huge step in the right direction.

HIV has been notoriously difficult to deal with simply because of how versatile it can be. Pinning down the particular traits of a microorganism is what allows scientists to create countermeasures against them, which largely comes in the form of a vaccine. It’s hard to do this when an organism simply has so many strains and forms, which have different chemical and molecular makeups.

It’s also worth pointing out that developed countries have been able to reduce the number of HIV or AIDS victims through several preventive measures. Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t have the luxury of high-quality health services.

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