Also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day observed annually on May 18, is a day that has been dedicated to the recognition of all volunteers, community members, scientist and health professionals who are working together to discover a safe and effective HIV/AIDS vaccine. On this day, HIV advocates promote and create awareness on the urgent need for the vaccine to prevent HIV infections and AIDS.
Studies are underway to develop both preventive and therapeutic HIV vaccines. The preventive vaccine is for people who do not have HIV infection while the therapeutic vaccine is intended for people who have HIV infection.
Although scientists have made enormous progress towards the search for HIV/AIDS vaccine, a safe and effective vaccine hasn’t been discovered yet. The ability of the virus to mutate and change its appearance hasn’t made this any easy.
In September, 2017, scientists engineered an antibody that attacks 99% of HIV strains and can prevent infections in primates. Clinical trials to test the antibody were set to get off the ground this year.
According to Hutch News a new ‘mosaic’ HIV vaccine study was launched last year by HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) – the largest global network developing HIV/AIDS vaccines. This clinical trial called the Imbokodo Study was launched in South Africa to test an experimental vaccine regimen designed to protect against HIV subtypes around the world. Browse the www.fredhutch.org to learn more about this study.