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Experimental HIV Vaccine Gives Surprisingly Strong Protection Against AIDS-causing Virus

A recent HIV vaccine trial has shown 'surprisingly strong' effects in a trial on people living in South Africa.

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Updated:September 19, 2019, 4:15 PM IST
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Experimental HIV Vaccine Gives Surprisingly Strong Protection Against AIDS-causing Virus
A student displays his hands painted with messages on HIV (Photo: Reuters)

A recent HIV vaccine trial has shown 'surprisingly strong' effects in a trial on people living in South Africa. The vaccine was trialed on a group of 100 people after an early study in US Army in Thailand produced modest results.

The study was led by researchers from the HIV Vaccine Trials Network in Seattle, Washington.

According to a report in Daily Mail, in the trial, people's bodies produced significantly higher numbers of immune cells which the body uses to fight off the AIDS-causing virus.

Furthermore, the study authors believe that the bodies were able to fend off HIV with a success rate of more than 31 per cent. It is to be noted that none of the volunteers already had the virus.

Furthermore, study authors found that the immunisation appeared to protect people from multiple strain of HIV, suggesting that it may be possible to create a universal vaccine.

The jab, named RV144 was given to people with an average age of 21 and then measured how their immune systems responded to it.

The study authors found that the white blood cells, called CD4+T cells which the body uses to fight off HIV, rose significantly in all the participants, regardless of their age or sex.

According to scientists, the participants developed HIV antibodies – immune system proteins matched specifically to the virus – after they were vaccinated.

According to study authors, the participants developed immune protection against multiple strains of the HIV virus -- AE, B and C.

Speaking about it, Dr Larry Corey, lead author of the study said that this breaks open the thought pattern that each region of the world needs a separate type of HIV vaccine based upon their circulating strains.

While there are medications which can suppress the virus in patients, they are not always available in poorer countries. Thus, the quest for the vaccine is a 'global imperative' one according to the Seattle team.

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