I have been an advacate of finding a cure to HIV/AIDS for years. I have walked & run for a cure, I have donated in large amounts & done anything to help in curing this nasty disease. Back in 2009 I signed up to be a partispent in a new HIV vaccine. It was a series of injections, LOTS of questions & time traveling to & from plus extra time in the doctor office after each injection. There were so many out there that are scared that the injections would put me in possible contact with the disease...but as usual I plowed through it & can honestly say....I AM PROUD to be part of something that will help my nephews & neices & MANY MANY others.
Well resently there was a big thing on Yahoo & a couple of other sites about it & how the vaccine seems to be working!!! Below is an artical & all about it:
Teams have been working on a vaccine for nearly three decades, but it wasn't until RV144, the 2009 clinical trial involving more than 16,000 adults in Thailand, that researchers achieved any hint of success.
The test of a combination of two vaccines followed several big failures, including the stunning news that Merck's vaccine may have increased the risk of infection among men who were both uncircumcised and had prior exposure to the virus used in the vaccine.
"It had an extremely chilling effect on the whole field," said Colonel Nelson Michael, director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, which led the RV144 trial.
The Thai study tested Sanofi's ALVAC, a weakened canary pox virus used to sneak three HIV genes into the body, and AIDSVAX, a vaccine originally made by Roche Holding's Genentech that carried an HIV surface protein.
Both vaccines had poor showings in individual trials. Researchers were so convinced the Thai trial would fail that 22 scientists wrote an editorial in Science calling it a waste of money.
Then came the shocker. Results of the study published in 2009 showed the vaccine combination cut HIV infections by 31.2 percent. According to Michael and many other experts, the result was not big enough to be considered effective, but its impact on researchers was huge, says Wayne Koff, chief scientific officer of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) based in New York.
Preparations are under way for a follow-up trial testing beefed-up versions of the vaccines among heterosexuals in South Africa and men who have sex with men in Thailand.
Once again, the trial will use a Sanofi vaccine, but instead of AIDSVAX, researchers will use a different vaccine candidate with a boosting agent from Novartis.
The hope is to have at least 50 percent effectiveness, a level that mathematical modelers say could have a major impact on the epidemic. Michael thinks this might be the pathway for getting the first HIV vaccine licensed, possibly by 2019.
Vaccine experts are equally excited about a vaccine that Michael's team is developing with Harvard University and Johnson & Johnson's Crucell unit, which uses weakened versions of a common cold virus and a smallpox virus.
A study published in February showed this vaccine protected monkeys from a virulent strain of HIV. Animals that did become infected after repeated exposure also had low levels of virus in their blood. Safety studies in human patients are just starting, with large-scale efficacy studies slated for 2016.
Such antibodies seek out and latch on to regions of the virus that are highly "conserved," meaning they are so critical to the virus that they appear in nearly every HIV strain. By attaching to the virus they make it incapable of infecting other cells.
Until 2009, scientists had identified only a few broadly neutralizing antibodies, but in the past few years teams have found dozens.
So far, scientists have isolated the antibodies, identified what part of HIV they target and even know the exact shape they make, Koff said. Researchers are now using this information to design vaccines that prompt the immune system to make them.
"We're not there yet," Nabel said.