Brazilian AIDS Vaccine Testing Will Begin This Year

Jennifer Deutschmann

Brazilian AIDS vaccine testing will begin before the end of this year. The vaccine was developed to treat patients already infected with HIV. Scientists hope that the vaccine will prohibit the infection from developing into AIDS.

The HIVBr18 vaccine was developed by a team of researchers with the University of Sao Paulo. Edecio Cunha Neto, Jorge Kalil and Simone Fonseca, have been working on the vaccine since 2001.

As reported by International Business Times, the vaccine is still being fine-tuned. However, the Brazilian AIDS vaccine will be tested on a colony of rhesus monkeys this year.

Scientists have chosen monkeys for the trial, as their immune systems are similar to humans. Additionally, HIV has been linked to the Simian Immuno Virus, or SIV, which is carried by monkeys. HIV is actually a genetic mutation of SIV.

HIV and AIDS vaccinations have been difficult to develop. The infection is unique in many ways, ruling out traditional vaccine development.

In AIDS patients, the immune system has been compromised. Many vaccines use the body's immune system to prevent reinfection. For AIDS patients, this would not be an option.

Immunization usually prevents disease, not infection, HIV is classified as an infection, whereas AIDS is a disease. By the time a patient has AIDS, they may be incredibly ill.

As reported by Med India, the Brazilian AIDS vaccine is unique for those reasons. Patients who are already experiencing the infection may be able to suspend it at an early stage. The infection would remain in the patient's system.

However, the patient would not develop AIDS nor would they pass the infection to others.

The vaccine is still in the stages of development. However, the researchers are cautiously optimistic. They have announced that testing of the Brazilian AIDS vaccine will begin before the end of the year.

[Image via Flickr]