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International News

South African Scientists to Begin Manufacturing New Vaccines Aimed at Preventing AIDS

September 27, 2002

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

South African scientists announced plans Thursday to begin manufacturing three new vaccines they hope will eventually provide protection against AIDS. The vaccines, which were lab tested on mice and primates, show great potential, said Associate Professor Anna-Lise Williamson of the University of Cape Town's Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine. The development of a vaccine is seen as imperative to stopping further spread of the epidemic.

Although most scientists are confident a vaccine is possible, they are uncertain of what exactly to put in it. For that reason, more than a dozen candidate vaccines are at various stages of testing worldwide in the hope that at least one will work. Clinical trials are already under way in the United States, Thailand, Britain, Kenya, India, Haiti, Brazil, Peru and South Africa.

The vaccines developed by the University of Cape Town are to be manufactured and tested in the United States and Britain. They will be produced using genetic material from the strain of HIV most commonly found in Southern Africa. By inserting harmless pieces of HIV into human cells, the scientists hope to stimulate the production of antibodies that will provide immunity against the virus.

Small-scale human clinical trials of the vaccine could begin as early as next year, said Dr. Tim Tucker, director of the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative. The initiative, which was established by the government three years ago, will contribute 10 million rand (US$1 million) toward producing and testing the vaccines, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health will give about 20 million rand (US$2 million).

Back to other CDC news for September 27, 2002

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Adapted from:
Associated Press
09.26.02; Mike Cohen

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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