According to UNAIDS, over 37.9 million people globally were living with HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus infection), close to 24.3 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy and more than 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV. Although no such permanent treatments that offer relief or cure from HIV have been found, as of yet, China will soon be trying out human clinical trials. Chinese scientists have developed an HIV vaccine that they plan to test on 160 human volunteers.
Chinese scientists had long been working on HIV vaccine, ever since its first trial back in the year 2007, confirms reports. Vaccine called DNA-rTV is being developed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDCP), in Beijing and is based around the replication of the DNA of HIV to trigger immunisation from the virus. This also marks the second time when any such vaccine for a disease reached the second-phase human trial and is based on the one that’s used to prevent smallpox.
According to the scientist at CCDCP, Shao Yiming, this vaccine would boost the body’s immunity and will work towards cutting down the effect of virus on the body. Testing for the vaccine will continue till 2021 and would then reach the third phase testing at the end of the year 2021. Unlike the 160 human volunteers selected for second phase testing, thousands of such people would be chosen for the third phase testing round to analyse if the vaccine can actually protect people against HIV. The fact that the vaccine, DNA-Rtv, contains only parts of the virus’ DNA material makes it even more effective.
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Looks like researchers have been working slowly but surely towards finding a cure for HIV. For instance, it was just earlier this month when scientists cured nine mice of HIV for the first time using a combination of CRISPR technology and an antiretroviral therapy called LASER ART to curb the virus. Given the fact that people with AIDS live for about three years, on average, after the diagnosis, this clinical trial for vaccine cure by CCDCP is the much-needed rescuer.