South Africa testing anti-HIV vaccine

by Katharine Child

Researchers are not expecting the vaccine to offer 100% protection from HIV. A similar trial of the vaccine in Thailand resulted in various degrees of protection.

The only HIV vaccine that currently has the potential to be licensed and used for treatment is being tested in South Africa.

Scientists will know in May if they can test it on 7000 people, said investigator Professor Glenda Gray, president of the SA Medical Research Council.

The vaccine – the only one shown to be reasonably effective against HIV after 30 years of research – is being tested on 100 people in this country. It is designed to activate the immune system to fight the virus.

The results of the test will be known in May. If the vaccine proves to be effective, regulators will give the go-ahead for a large phase-three trial involving about 7000 subjects. If that trial is successful the drug can be licensed and sold.

Researchers are not expecting the vaccine to offer 100% protection from HIV. A similar trial of the vaccine in Thailand resulted in varying degrees of protection.

South African scientists have modified the vaccine to make it more potent and trial participants will get an extra injection in the hope that its effects will last longer, said Professor Gray.

“I wish we had done this vaccine trial in South Africa nine years ago, when it went to Thailand.”

This is just one of a range of HIV trials in South Africa.

Next month researchers will give 1700 women in sub-Saharan Africa a drip containing antibodies against HIV. Scientists want to know if giving antibodies regularly confers protection against HIV.

Only a small percentage of patients create this antibody, which protects against multiple strains of HIV. The trial participants will be given a drip once every two months for nearly two years. South African women have been recruited.

source: Times Live

SA has lost 4.4m people to Aids – survey

As it is, South Africans are struggling with poverty and unemployment. In many rural areas clean drinking water is a important factor in their related health problems. Anyway this is an example of how the brainwashing continues…

Johannesburg – There would be more than 4.4 million more people in South Africa if it were not for the Aids pandemic, according to a survey released on Monday.

“Currently, there are 50.6m people in the country. In the absence of Aids, this would have been 55m,” said the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR).

“The data shows that 31% of all deaths in 2011 were Aids-related. By 2015, this proportion will have risen to 33%. In 2025, there will be 121% more Aids deaths than there were in 2000,” it said.

SAIRR said and estimated six million people would be living with HIV/Aids in 2015, double the number recorded in 2000.

Researcher Thuthukani Ndebele said HIV/Aids had resulted in a significantly slower population growth rate.

“Not only does HIV/Aids reduce life expectancy and increase mortality, but it is largely responsible for wider social ills such as orphanhood and child-headed households,” he said.

The survey is based on data sourced from the Actuarial Society of South Africa and the Institute for Futures Research.

According to the data the HIV prevalence rate is higher among young African adults, resulting in fewer people in this group reaching old age.

source: News24 / SAPA