A vaccine against HIV/AIDS may soon be realized following developments of a 2009 trial in Thailand that showed great promise in preventing HIV infections, the United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS announced recently.
Information from the UN Information Center in Manila said that the developments on this vaccine were presented in the world AIDS vaccine day last May 18.
According to the UNAIDS report, the Thailand trial called RV 144 showed a 31.2 percent vaccine efficacy in preventing HIV infections.
“In 2009, results from a trial in Thailand—RV144—showed a 31.2 percent vaccine efficacy in preventing HIV infections. Although only modestly protective, the results instilled new hope that an HIV vaccine could be found and made available for populations around the world most in need of a vaccine,” UNAIDS said.
“While the results were “modestly protective,” they nonetheless represented a significant scientific advance, and were the first demonstration that a vaccine can prevent HIV infection in a general adult population. This discovery has been followed by more encouraging data in the following years,” UNAIDS added.
The trial was followed by an investigation with experts from UNAIDS and US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US that estimated the impact of the RV 144 with different sample populations. It found that 10 percent of infections could be prevented if the same 31 percent efficacy was found in people who receive the vaccine.
A vaccine “is not a magic bullet to the end the AIDS epidemic,” UNAIDS warned, but it is an additional tool that can be added to the package of HIV prevention options.
Trials are now being planned to see whether an RV 144 regimen will be effective in protecting against an HIV strain found in South Africa that is seen in populations with a greater risk of being exposed to the virus, especially among men having sex with men.
UNAIDS estimated that more than 34 million People Living with HIV (PLHIV). Everyday, more than 7,000 are being diagnosed as infected with HIV.
In the Philippines, the latest HIV/AIDS surveillance report in March recorded a total of 313 new HIV-positive individuals, the highest number of cases ever reported to the registry since 1984.