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HIV vaccine to be tested in South Africa

HIV vaccine to be tested in South Africa

Anthony Fauci is leading on HIV research

A vaccine against HIV is to be given a large trial after successful tests last year.

In an announcement made at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, researchers said they will give the vaccine to 5,400 people across four sites in South Africa from November 2016 and test them for three years to the safety and strength they have against HIV.

This is the third trial after successful tests in South Africa last year, where 252 volunteers participated, and in Thailand in 2009.

The trial in Thai was the first to show the vaccine could protect against HIV, with 60% protection against the virus after one year but this fell to 31% by the end of the trial.

‘The obvious question is: Can we now replicate those results and can we improve upon them with greater breadth, depth and potency?’ said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, whose organization sponsors the study.

The vaccine was improved for use in higher-risk populations of sub-Saharan Africa, making improvements to fit the participants they were studying.

‘We want to get it up to 60% and keep it there,’ Fauci added.

Researchers hope that if this large trial is successful, it will provide the evidence needed by manufacturers and vaccine regulators to take it further.

The vaccine is intended for use with condoms, PrEP and any other ways of protecting yourself from HIV.

According to the World Health Organization, 36.9 million people around the world are currently living with HIV or AIDS.