Kenya is set to launch a new vaccine for HIV in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The vaccine, dubbed HVTN 703/HPTN 081 is an antibody that protects people from being infected with HIV. The vaccine has currently undergone 3 trials.
The vaccine works on the antibody-mediated prevention (AMP) mechanism. Unlike previous HIV vaccine studies, the current study used VRC01 manufactured antibodies against HIV. The antibodies were given to people directly. In previous traditional studies, a vaccine was administered and researchers would wait to see if the subjects' bodies would make antibodies against HIV in response.
The AMP study was done on 1900 women from Sub-Saharan Africa who had to meet several criteria including being a healthy adult, not being infected with HIV, and not being pregnant or breastfeeding.
"We are already done with three trial phases of the vaccine and we are working towards making more progress that can help in fully preventing HIV. We are focusing on women because they are among the groups with a high risk of being infected,” said CDC country director Dr. Marc Bulterys at the 40th anniversary of the CDC's partnership with Kenya.
Dr. Bulterys added that the research is ongoing to ensure that the vaccine is widely rolled out.
The vaccine stands to benefit African countries with a majority of all people living with HIV/AIDS and AIDS-related deaths.
Header Image Credit: Bhekisisa