Search for AIDS Vaccine Advances

Search for AIDS Vaccine Advances

01.06.12 | By Greg Lopes

An article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal (subscription required) presents some exciting news on the fight against HIV/AIDS. New research, to be published Wednesday in the journal Nature, shows that some investigational new vaccines may protect monkeys against a powerful strain of the virus.

In the article, Dan Barouch, lead author of the study and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, says that plans are under way for clinical trials of a human-adapted version of one of the vaccines used in the monkeys. The vaccine will be tested in people both in the U.S. and internationally, including in populations in Africa where HIV infection rates are high, he added.

"There's more hope than ever before that an AIDS vaccine might be possible," said Dr. Barouch.

I think it's important to note that HIV/AIDS is still one of the most devastating diseases affecting people around the world. But it's also amazing to me that overall global growth of the disease has stabilized, the number of new infections has been steadily declining, and there are fewer AIDS-related deaths.

We've talked a lot on this blog about medical progress on HIV/AIDS, I think partly because it's important to understand the progress that's been made, but also to understand that there is no cure or vaccine ready to completely rid us of this epidemic. That's why America's biopharmaceutical companies are currently working on 88 medicines and vaccines for HIV/AIDS.

Last month, we celebrated World AIDS Day on December 1 by posting a video showing how the disease and the world have changed over the last 30 years.

Progress against HIV/AIDS continues - and I think today's news shows us that we're headed in the right direction.

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