'Novel HIV vaccine found safe, effective'

Almost 80 million people are estimated to have been infected since the virus was first diagnosed in the early 1980s

Barouch, who is the lead author of the study, also warned, however, "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". To date, it's only one of five experimental HIV-1 vaccine concepts to make it this far in nearly four decades of the HIV pandemic.

Only one vaccine has ever shown evidence of protecting against HIV. The achievement was considered to be too small for the drug to go ahead and come into the market as a HIV vaccine.

Their trial of vaccine included the 400 healthy people and then their next level of study is going to include 2,600 women of South Africa which are said to be at risk of Infection of HIV.

This study was supported by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV and the NIH, the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, and a cooperative agreement between the Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine and the US Department of Defense.

Meant to provide broad protection from the many strains of HIV that are prevalent worldwide, the "mosaic" vaccine contains a patchwork of genetic sequences found among various HIV strains.

The most effective combination was called the Ad26/Ad26 plus gp140 vaccine candidate - it protected two-thirds of the vaccinated monkeys against infection.

Results showed that all vaccine regimens tested were capable of generating anti-HIV immune responses in healthy individuals and were well tolerated, with similar numbers of local and systemic reactions reported in all groups, most of which were mild-to-moderate in severity.

Scientists revealed Saturday that a candidate trial drug triggered an immune response in humans and shielded monkeys from infection. Thousands of people are still contracting HIV every year in the USA - an estimated 38,500 people became infected with the virus in 2015 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest statistics.

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A vaccine has proven elusive as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) mutates easily and can hide away in cells, evading the immune system, only to re-emerge and spread years later.

But despite advances in treatment for HIV, a cure or vaccine against the virus has never been found.

There has been a four decades long challenge to develop a vaccine against the deadly HIV virus that causes AIDS.

It has also helped to protect monkeys from the virus similar to HIV.

All of the vaccines prompted anti-HIV immune responses in the participants, the results revealed.

"I can not emphasise how badly we need to have a vaccine.to get rid of HIV in the next generation altogether", said Francois Venter of the University of the Witwatersrand Reproductive Health and HIV Institute in South Africa.

All of the vaccine combinations produced an anti-HIV immune system response and were found to be safe. It's unclear whether it would provide protection in humans.

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