October 6, 2009
An AIDS vaccine trial has begun enrolling men who have sex with men (MSM) in 12 US cities. The HVTN 505 study is designed to see whether a two-part vaccine regimen decreases viral loads among participants who later become infected with HIV.
"It is designed to find cells already infected and reduce the amount of virus in people if they do get infected," said Jonathan Fuchs, director of vaccine studies at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. "If we get clues that we can accomplish that, it will be a huge next step in developing a safe and effective vaccine."
The two-part vaccine candidate consists of three recombinant DNA-based primers and one booster to stimulate the immune system. The booster vaccine contains weakened adenovirus type 5 (Ad5), a common virus that normally causes colds. Disabled so as not to cause colds, the Ad5 booster will encode HIV proteins found in HIV and on the virus' outer envelope. Neither of the vaccines contains HIV, nor can they infect participants with HIV.
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
10.01.2009; Matthew S. Bajko