New HIV vaccine trial to begin

A new study by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center is seeking to find candidates for a clinical trial that is investigating whether or not a combination of two potential vaccines will stimulate an immune response to the virus that causes AIDS.

The study, funded by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is looking for those that fall into the high risk category of contracting the disease, according to Health News Digest.

“We hope that this trial will help us better understand how the immune system may work to prevent HIV/AIDS,” Dr. Mamta Jain, assistant professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and principal investigator of the study, told Health News Digest. “It is with this better understanding of the immune system that we may ultimately find a vaccine that may prevent HIV infection.”

The components of the combined vaccine have been found to be safe when tested in both animals and humans in all other clinical trials. They are designed to produce immune cells and antibody responses against HIV.

“This trial may help us better understand why some people develop AIDS and others don’t. If you could prevent people from getting sick from AIDS, that’s a tremendous accomplishment,” Jain said.

This is the only HIV vaccine trial in the country that is currently looking for participants. It is seeking to find 1,350 volunteers nationwide and last for three years. Participants will be given three shots in the first three months and then one shot every three months after for its duration.