Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

Canadian HIV vaccine shows promising results in early trials

Though there has been major advances in the treatment of HIV over the past several decades, the virus remains one of the most feared sexually-transmitted diseases. Scientists have tried for years to create a vaccine for the virus, and it appears that a group of Canadian researchers may have experienced a breakthrough. Scientists from Western University's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry have developed the SAV001-H vaccine as a means of preventing the virus. During the vaccine's initial trials, the researchers reported that it had no adverse effects and significantly built immunity to HIV.

"We have proven that there is no safety concern of SAV001-H in human administration and we are now prepared to take the next steps towards Phase II and Phase III clinical trials," said lead researcher Dong Joon Kim. "We are delighted to be one step closer to the first commercialized HIV vaccine."

According to Toronto news source TheStar.com, the SAV001-H vaccine is the only one being developed in Canada and among more than 30 being tested in human clinical trials. The vaccine is made with a unique design that includes a killed whole HIV-1 virus that aims to activate a patient's immune response. This same method has been used to develop vaccines for polio, rabies and influenza.

The vaccine has just completed Phase I, which is designed to see if it is safe to administer to humans. In the future, it will go through Phase II, which requires testing on 600 HIV-negative volunteers who are at high risk of infection. In Phase III, this sample size will balloon to 6,000 patients. If all goes well, the vaccine could be on the market in five years and could make a major difference in HIV rates around the world.
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