Published: Thu, July 27, 2017
Medical | By Rita Mcdonald

SA child living with HIV maintains remission without ARVs since 2008

SA child living with HIV maintains remission without ARVs since 2008

One participant who received VRC01 was virally suppressed for 42 weeks post-treatment interruption, however within the last few days his viral load has become detectable.

But more than 200 broadly neutralising antibodies have been documented, which doctors hope could be useful for both preventing and treating HIV.

When the child was 9.5 years old, investigators conducted thorough laboratory and clinical studies to assess the child's immune health and the presence of HIV. In comparison, standard ART pills worked for just 84% of recipients, University of North Carolina researcher Dr. Joseph Eron announced at the event. Scientists have long searched for ways to help HIV-positive patients produce more broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) because they can neutralize a broad array of different HIV viral strains. "It will help remove the challenge of taking tablets every day and significantly improve the quality of life of people living with HIV".

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The findings offer yet more hope for potential treatments in future, amid an array of other trials published this week with similar results. As different subtypes of HIV are predominant in different geographic areas, this is the best strategy to try and reduce the problem worldwide. Participants will receive five injections over a year, and results are expected in 2020.

In a statement issues; "the Groundbreaking new PEPFAR data show that the HIV epidemic is coming under control across all age groups in Swaziland, the country with the highest HIV prevalence in the world". That group is using vaccine components from GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, testing the regimen in 5,400 sexually active men and women aged 18 to 35 who don't have the infection.

Bekker used the example of Swaziland, where rates of HIV were reported on Monday to have dramatically declined since 2011, according to the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. After three injections, most of their blood work showed that their bodies were developing immune responses to HIV-through the presence of antibodies and other cellular changes-which indicate that the vaccine would work against different strains of HIV. Swaziland has the highest prevalence of HIV in the world, but new infections have nearly halved since 2011, after providing treatment and male circumcision for more than 12 million people.

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Based on immunologic responses observed in APPROACH, as well as protection observed in pre-clinical studies, a lead HIV-1 vaccine regimen comprising Janssen's Ad26 mosaic candidate and the Clade C gp140 soluble protein will now been selected for a potential Phase 2b proof-of-concept efficacy study. The experimental regimens all incorporated the same vaccine components in the prime vaccination, known as Ad26.Mos.HIV.

"Further study is needed to learn how to induce long-term HIV remission in infected babies", said Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The immune response in humans was comparable to the response in rhesus monkey.

Researchers have begun building model immune systems using human cells, and this lab technique should make early vaccine trials quicker, safer and cheaper, according to scientists in the United States and Britain involved in this novel approach.

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"By exploring multiple promising avenues of vaccine development research, we expand our opportunities to achieve these goals", Fauci added.

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