First New HIV Vaccine Trial Begins in Africa

Ahead of the World AIDS Day 2016 on Thursday, scientists have launched the first Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) vaccine efficacy study anywhere, for over seven years, in South Africa.

According to the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the study, called HVTN 702, is to test whether an experimental vaccine regimen safely prevents infection among South African adults. It involves a new version of the only HIV vaccine candidate ever shown to provide some protection against the virus.

Also, the Executive Director of Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS), Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Michel Sidibé, in his message yesterday said: “Today, we commemorate World AIDS Day—we stand in solidarity with the 78 million people who have become infected with HIV and remember the 35 million who have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the first cases of HIV were reported.

“The world has committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. We are seeing that countries are getting on the Fast-Track—more than 18 million people are on life-saving HIV treatment and country after country is on track to virtually eliminate HIV transmission from mother to child.”

Also, to mark World AIDS Day 2016, on Thursday, December 1, the World Health Organisation (WHO) will launch new guidelines on HIV self-testing to encourage countries to promote self-testing and empower more people to test for HIV.

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