There is currently no vaccine for HIV/AIDS.
In order to produce a vaccine, the virus must first be reintroduced into a host. That is, of course, unethical, so the possibility of a vaccine or cure seems impossible. However, a recently developed vaccine has passed through the next trial phase.
Three-hundred-ninety-three participants from 12 clinics in East Africa, South Africa, Thailand and The United States were apart of the experiment. Each participant was randomly given one dose of study vaccine or a placebo in the APPROACH trial.
According to the evaluation, the HIV-1 vaccine activates an increased immune response in humans and rhesus monkeys.
Some types of primates, most notably chimpanzees, carry a similar virus called SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus), which is believed to be the derivative of HIV. Human-like primates are often utilized in vaccine trials for this reason.
The next phase, which will be held in Sub-Saharan Africa, involved 2600 women in a trial called “imbokodo” or rock in Zulu.
Various strains of the HIV vaccine used on monkeys shows that 67 percent of monkeys are protected.
What is the AIDS Epidemic Like Today?
Two decades after the first clinical evidence of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was reported, it has become the most devastating disease humankind has ever faced. Since the epidemic began, more than 60 million people have been infected with the virus worldwide.
Data shows that an estimated 57,520,805 people around the world are currently infected with that number increasing by approximately 1,400 people per day. AIDS is now the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa.
Worldwide, it is the fourth-biggest killer. At the end of 2016, an estimated 1.8 million people globally were diagnosed with AIDS. In many parts of the developing world, the majority of new infections occur in young adults, with young women especially vulnerable.
About one-third of those currently living with AIDS are aged 15–24. Many of them do not know they carry the virus. Millions more know nothing or too little about AIDS to protect themselves against it.
Although a viable vaccine is an amazing breakthrough, more has to be implemented concerning the epidemic. Other variables like affordability and accessibility need to be accounted for, so education and treatment still need to be at the forefront of eradication.
Featured Image via Free Photobank