Remember when HIV first became a very real and vivid threat and people used to say that the day a vaccine was invented there were going to be massive orgies in the streets? That day may have just gotten a little closer.
The Toronto Sun reports that the FDA has given approval to a team of researchers from the University of Ontario to test a vaccine for HIV/AIDS on humans; if they’re successful a vaccine could be on the market in as little as five years. Forty HIV positive volunteers will begin the trial next month, followed by “tests on 6,600 HIV-negative but high-risk-category volunteers, testing immune responses and effectiveness of the vaccine in two more phases.”
The Sun reports: “The vaccine is the first based on a genetically modified, killed whole virus, following a line of research that successfully produced vaccines for polio, rabies and hepatitis A.”
The virus is genetically modified to make it safe. “Part of that process involves using white blood cells and the melittin protein from honeybees to help cultivate the vaccine.”
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation says the trial will be split into three phases and lists the phases on their site as follows:
Phase 1: Beginning in January 2012, this phase will involve 30 HIV-positive people on whom safety will be retested.
Phase 2: This phase will examine immune responses in humans and will involve 600 HIV-negative people who are at high risk of contracting the AIDS virus.
Phase 3: This phase will determine the efficacy of the vaccine and will involve 6,000 HIV-negative volunteers at high risk of contracting the virus.
Go Canada! With 28 million people having already died from the virus and 35 million living with it this huge stride is a ray of hope for us all.