Scientists have been trying for years to discover a vaccine that can protect people against HIV. While most efforts lead to nothing, it appears that researchers might have made a breakthrough. A study titled “A step forward for HIV vaccines” revealed that researchers made an important leap towards creating the vaccine.
Until now, vaccines did not work because the virus is able to mutate very quickly. However, the latest attempt managed to create an immune response to the vaccine for almost 400 uninfected adults. They were selected from clinics in South Africa, Thailand, East Africa and the United States.
The Mosaic HIV vaccine
There have been many experimental vaccines since the HIV/AIDS epidemic started, but only five of them managed to get to this point. The Mosaic HIV vaccine is one of them. Professor Dan Barouch revealed that these results are a very important step, but the process is not over.
“But these results should be interpreted cautiously. The challenges in the development of an HIV vaccine are unprecedented, and the ability to induce HIV-specific immune responses does not necessarily indicate that a vaccine will protect humans from HIV infection,” he added.
A vaccine for HIV is an important need, as there are more than 1.8 million new cases every year. At the moment, there are 37 million people around the world who have HIV/AIDS. The epidemic has been around for 35 years, but until now no vaccine has managed to show signs of protection.
Testing the vaccine
The study revealed that the vaccine has promising results as it generated a solid immune response. Right now, scientists are planning to give the vaccine to 2600 women in Southern Africa. These women are considered at risk and the vaccine might protect them from HIV.