The Harvard group of scientists has made significant progress in the search for a method of preventing HIV infection. Previously, they had already succeeded in successfully testing the vaccine in humans – all who received the drug produced at least some kind of immune response against HIV, with at least 80% of the subjects making more complex responses. The researchers also found that the same vaccine protected 67% of rhesus monkeys against the immunodeficiency virus of monkeys and humans, which indicates its possible effectiveness against HIV.
This does not mean that scientists have found an effective vaccine yet. Although tests on monkeys are encouraging, more tests are needed to show that the drug can effectively prevent infections in humans. The next step is to test the vaccine for 2,600 women in southern Africa who are at risk of contracting HIV. This is one of five vaccines that ever reached such tests, but the previous ones were not effective enough to be worth continuing their tests.
Nevertheless, this vaccine has a powerful reason to become successful. In contrast to past efforts that have focused only on specific strains of HIV, this vaccine is a “mosaic” that includes parts of several strains to create a more versatile drug. If it proves effective, doctors will be able to apply it widely where past vaccines worked only for small groups of the population, even if they were more effective. It is unlikely that this decision will be final, but it will at least allow a serious impact on HIV.