back to article HIV vaccine safe for Phase II human trials

Researchers from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Canada's University of Western Ontario have issued a statement saying the first phase of clinical trials of an HIV vaccine have produced “no adverse effects observed including local reactions, signs/symptoms and laboratory toxicities”. The Reg understands the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm rather surprised they released this. Isn't it far more profitable to treat than cure?

    1. ahayes

      A vaccine isn't a cure, it's a preventative measure. It keeps you from contracting the disease. Given the fact it is incurable and the cost of treating and the fact it will shorten your lifespan if you contract it getting this will be a must for anybody and everybody regardless of their risk, something with such a broad customer base would be very lucrative.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Incureable? Perhaps right now but there is extremely promising work being done. I don't doubt that we can cure HIV / AIDs in time and with enough support. How long it takes will depend on money.

        A vaccine is an important part of the solution. Great to see!

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      I'm pretty sure this project has state and international backing, meaning money isn't the object. Any plague the government can block is good for them.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I'm rather surprised they released this. Isn't it far more profitable to treat than cure?"

      COWARD INDEED, Fuck me humans really are lower than a snakes belly. Tell your mum well done for dragging you up by the hair.

    4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      A little too cynical

      A few salient points:

      1 - The vaccine is developed by a university research department, not a pharmaceutical firm. They almost certainly have no financial interests in whatever antiviral treatments are currently available.

      2 - Most scientists working in a university setting follow their research interests, not Mammon. I know it is popular to slag scientists off and claim that they are given free money in the form of research grants, but if you actually look at these claims in any detail, it quickly becomes obvious that they are total bollocks, and if they were after money, they would be doing privately funded research which is MUCH better paid.

      3 - Not everone is a complete sociopath that looks to make profit form the suffering of others, although the sad fact is that too many people are. This is no doubt one of the principal reasons the world is so screwed up.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Are you for real?

      You'd have a much happier life if you didn't think the worst of people all the time.

  2. tkioz

    I may be way off base here, and forgive me if I'm asking stupid questions, but I honestly don't know much about the subject.

    Isn't a vaccine something to prevent an infection? If so why are they giving it to people with HIV already? Not that I'm advocating infecting people with HIV as a test, but it just doesn't seem to make much sense to me...

    Is this also a treatment for people already infected?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Likely using HIV + patients to test for adverse side affects rather than accidentally infecting uninfected people. As it says in the article they were able to measure an increase in anti-bodies after the vaccine was administered which I assume would have been the same in uninfected people.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes - probably the next step is trials on groups of HIV- people who are at risk of catching the virus.

        Not sure what the "ethical" position is regarding those who get the placebo.

        Also, bets on how soon it is before an American or African evangelical complains this vaccine is a "sodomy license" or similar and campaigns against it being made available to young people (or anyone)?

        1. Alan Bourke

          Sodomy Licence?

          Great band - solid second album.

          1. Measurer

            Re: So**my Licence?

            Does the bands name include the question mark (hope it does, sounds like what you'd get asked for in the post office)?

        2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Also no expert, but,

          I assume you'll be told that you may be getting a placebo, or indeed may be getting a vaccine that turns out not to work - although I assume that it works in animal trials or some such. But they've got that far before and got stuck. You may also get counselling about the risks of AIDS, it would be wrong for a doctor to withhold that. Then they assume that you will go out and get exposed to the virus anyway, and are equally likely to do so on the vaccine or on the placebo.

    2. Jonathon Green

      "...why are they giving it to people with HIV already?"

      Like you I'm posting from the position of "reasonably well informed layperson who's done a bit of biology at school and read a bit..." but I'll chance a possible explanation...

      As far as I'm aware HIV+ doesn't mean a person has "got AIDS", it just means that a person has been exposed to the virus and that it's present in their system, this I assume means that they can see that the immune system responds to the vaccine by producing antibodies which act effectively against the virus.

    3. goldcd

      I suspect

      it's because these are only phase 1 trials.

      Trying to convince your ethics board to allow you to inject HIV (although it's like totally dead we swear) into people, possibly wouldn't go down too well.

      If all you want to do is check there's an anti-body response, then those already infected are less at a risk of adverse side-effects (not as if there's a chance you'll "give them HIV").

      Plus there's the HIV/AIDS things - you contract the virus HIV and you're fine at first. There's then the ongoing battle in your body between the virus trying to replicate and ultimately 'win' giving you AIDS (OK, it's not a win, it's a slightly stupid virus that kills its host) and your body trying to resist. it. Current treatment for HIV sufferers isn't a cure, it's an bundle of 'stuff' designed to assist your body/slow the HIV to help your immune system on the winning side of the fight. Having additional antibodies, may help with this.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a a a

    is described as a a “killed whole virus”, a type of vaccine

    a a a

  4. Robert Helpmann??

    A Little More Detail

    The Phase I trial was designed to test the safety of the vaccine. Additional tests will be conducted to test if it triggers an immune response and to what degree. As far as the virus used in the trial causing AIDS, "the HIV-1 is genetically engineered so it is non-pathogenic and can be produced in large quantities," so not so much.

    More on the school's web site:

    To the researchers: bravo!

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