Preliminary tests on its first AIDS vaccine have indicated it can protect people from HIV infections, says China's State Food and Drug Administration. Of 49 participants, all healthy men and women, aged 18-50, none showed any serious adverse reaction to the vaccine.
The participants also received DNA fragments of HIV-1. The researchers said some of the participants developed immunity to HIV-1 about two weeks after being vaccinated - an indication that the vaccine does stimulate the immune system, said the administration. "Quite a few of them, after taking both low and high dosages, showed a fairly positive response of immunity towards the virus," said Kong Wei, team leader. The higher the dosage, the better was their reaction, he added.
The participants were divided into eight groups and were sampled 5 to 10 times during the 180-day period of the trial.
Although the initial results are promising, Kong Wei said it is still too early to decide whether the vaccine may be successful. Researchers are still deciding whether another, larger trial, with 800 healthy participants, some of whom would be from high-risk groups, should be approved.
Scientists added that even if all goes well, we are still several years away from having an effective vaccine on the market.
According to official estimates, China has 650,000 people who are infected with HIV, of which 75,000 have AIDS.
Written by: Christian Nordqvist Editor: Medical News Today