MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Spanish scientists develop new HIV vaccine

Dr. Josep Maria Gatell and a team of Spanish scientists have developed a new vaccine in their labs in Barcelona which temporary slows HIV growth.

The new vaccine reduces the level of HIV in a patient's blood by up to 90 percent after twelve weeks of use. Gatell said he believes the vaccine, which attempts to treat rather than prevent the disease, shows great promise, according to CRIEnglish.com.

The vaccine was tested on randomly selected HIV patients who were on antiretroviral medicines. The scientists' goal was to have the patients' own immune system fight the HIV.

"With HIV the problem is that dendritic cells confront the immune system with live and viable viruses which end up destroying it," Gatell said, according to CRIEnglish.com.

The vaccine sends a deactivated virus into the patients' cells and helps to dramatically reduce the level of infection, but is not permanent.

"To sum it up briefly the vaccine prototype we have used in our last study in 2013 is not capable of preventing the reappearance of the viral load when the treatment ends," Gatell said, according to CRIEnglish.com. "But it reduces the reappearance of the virus between ten and fifteen times. And this is a conceptual proof that a therapeutic vaccine could work."

The end goal of the team is to make a vaccine that could be an effective cure and will allow patients to stop taking costly antiretroviral medicines.