- Moderna and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative have started the first phase of clinical trials for an HIV vaccine in the US
- 56 HIV-negative adults are participating in the HIV vaccine trial, and eight will only receive a booster shot
- The Moderna HIV vaccine uses mRNA technology to trigger antibody production by the immune system
Washington DC - The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and Moderna, a biotech and pharmaceutical company, announced that clinical trials for an HIV vaccine have started in the US.
The first phase of the trial consists of 56 HIV-negative and healthy adults. The vaccine uses mRNA technology, similar to that of Covid-19 vaccines and will produce bnAbs (broadly neutralising antibodies).
These antibodies will protect against HIV and its many variants, eNCA reports. Vaccinated people's bodies will produce the bnAbs through their B lymphocytes in their immune system.
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The aim of the HIV vaccine
According to ABC News, an estimated 38 million people globally are infected with HIV. While treatments and medications have been developed to help HIV positive people lead reasonably normal lives, this is the first time a vaccine has been developed.
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Moderna has developed a vaccine and a booster shot, although it is not clear at this stage how often one would need to get a booster. Eight of the trial participants will receive just a booster and no vaccine to help ascertain its efficacy.
The trial will take place in three different American cities; namely Seattle, Atlanta and San Antonio. Dr Mark Feinberg, the CEO and president of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, said that he and his team are hopeful that the first trial of the HIV vaccine will be a success.
Reactions to HIV vaccine trial
"Wow if that works can you believe how many critics mRNA vaccines they would silence."
"Not interested! Don’t trust them after they “botched” the Covid jab!"
"So cool. Just thinking how far they can go if they become motivated by conscience and not money! Because their COVID vaccine probably saved more than just my life. Please don't hesitate to get vaccinated. But it's your own life and your own choice!"
"It was bound to happen, the technology is there."
HIV/AIDS: UN Highlights 1 Most Important Thing That Can End Spread of Disease
Meanwhile, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has said that there is an urgent need to tackle the long-standing inequalities existing in the accessment of HIV treatment commodities among people living with the virus.
The country director of UNAIDS, Erasmus Morah, said this while speaking at the press conference organised by the National Agency for the Control of AIDSS (NACA) in Abuja on Wednesday, November 24.