Oregon Lab Announces New Possible HIV Vaccine
A lab at the Oregon Health And Sciences University has announced promising results from an experimental HIV vaccine, which could lead to a treatment for AIDS. The news comes in a year that has already seen many noteworthy developments in the treatment of HIV and AIDS.
Dr. Louis Picker and his team developed the vaccine by modifying a common virus called CMV to express attributes of Simian Immune Virus, or SIV, the equivalent of HIV for monkeys. Early trials have shown that 50% of monkeys given the vaccine were able to completely eliminate the virus from their bodies after being infected.
Several other cases this year have shown remarkable instances of humans being cured of HIV infections. As we’ve reported earlier, two patients were found virus free after receiving bone marrow transplants to treat leukemia, while others were treated to varying levels of success:
AIDS and HIV research has already made headlines several times this year. In March, researchers announced that a baby born with HIV had no traces of the virus in her system after receiving a major dose of anti-viral medication just after birth. Later that month, a journal reported that 14 adults were “functionally cured” of the virus after they ceased treatment, but their viral loads remained low enough not to make them sick.
Dr. Picker seemed to cast doubt on the usefulness of these instances, calling them ”a very small number of highly-publicized but unusual clinical cases.”
He added, “This latest research suggests that certain immune responses elicited by a new vaccine may also have the ability to completely remove HIV from the body.”