Johnson and Johnson start widespread trials of HIV vaccine

Pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson has announced the commencement of a widespread trial of an injectable vaccine for HIV.

The vaccine will be tested on people across several countries in Europe as well as in the USA. The company is already running a trial in five countries in southern Africa.

3,800 men who have sex with men will be given a series of injections that they hope will stop people contracting the virus.  Participants will be given six injections over four sessions.

The vaccine has achieved impressive results in trials involving animals, with two thirds of those given the vaccine developing an immunity to HIV.

Scientists are hoping to find out what percentage of people develop immunity after taking the medication, and how long it remains effective in the human body.

While PrEP treatment has allowed thousands of people to take a daily pill to avoid acquiring the virus – a move which has seen rates of new HIV infections plumett in western countries including the USA, Britain, Australia and Singapore – the treatment is difficult to roll out in third world countries where the number of cases is high, and AIDS related deaths still occur in large numbers.

It is hoped the development of an injectable preventative treatment will be more suitable to reach millions of people in some of the world’s poorest nations.

OIP Staff

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