The world's first large-scale trial of a vaccine to protect against HIV - the virus that causes Aids - is set to begin in South Africa, BBC News reported.
An international team of researchers will oversee the four-year trial, which will include 3 000 HIV-negative men and women, aged 18 to 35. Researchers hope the study will offer insight into how the vaccine works in heterosexuals and especially its effectiveness in women.
During the trial, some participants will receive the vaccine and others will be given a placebo. All the participants will receive education about safer sex, BBC News reported.
Reviewed and approved
The study was reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration and was approved by the South African Medicines Control Council and the South African Department of Agriculture.
Even if this trial provides positive findings about the vaccine, created by the drug company Merck, further studies would have to be conducted before the vaccine can be licensed.
There is no live HIV in the vaccine, which contains copies of three HIV genes. It's hoped that exposure to these genes will prompt the body's immune system to recognise and destroy cells that contain HIV, BBC News reported. – (HealthDayNews)