GlaxoSmithKline has announced a plan to develop a preventive HIV vaccine by infusing key HIV genes into an existing measles vaccine. Researchers say that because the measles shot has been proved to convey strong and long-lasting defenses against the childhood disease, they hope that including the HIV genes will prompt a similar defense against HIV. Four research centers in France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom could begin clinical trials within three years.
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and Targeted Genetics have announced plans for a Phase II clinical trial of an experimental HIV vaccine that targets HIV subtype C, the strain most common in Southern and Eastern Africa. The vaccine aims to elicit both an antibody and killer T-cell response to fight off HIV.
Scientists in Los Angeles and Toronto reported in the journal AIDS Education and Prevention that their research shows public-health officials must respond to concerns about stigma and vaccine-induced infection if women are to take full advantage of an eventually available HIV vaccine. Focus group studies showed many women worried about being labeled as promiscuous or gay if they were to seek out immunization. Some also believed it would be possible to contract HIV from a vaccine.